I think within each one of resides a deep desire to live a life of great purpose. We want to make our life count. I think we are born with a place inside of us that is made to impact this world. I think this place in us goes so deep, that if not filled, we begin to pace the halls of life. If empty, this place in us is begging for more and we find ourselves starving of contentment. This desire for purpose is so strong that if not satiated, we can actually end up feeding it with ugly awful, no good emotional junk food. Junk food like TV and clothes and the Kardashians and cheetos. The kind of junk food that rots our soul. I think all people yearn to make their lives count, yet we let so many other things count.
- We let our past count : We think only people with sunday school, mission trips and Bible college on their resume can apply for the work of doing Big godlike assignments. We think our track record is pretty weak so God won’t want us on his team. So we keep letting our past determine our present. And yet God is a God who says “Let me determine your present and your future. The past rests in my forgiveness.” He says it, but we give our past way too much power.
- We let our weakness count: We let our inadequacies get the best of us. We convince ourselves that We aren’t enough” to really make a big difference. There is nothing great about us. We are lacking, broken, quirky, boring, understated, old, and weak. Those statements boss our lives around everyday.
- We let “I’m not her” and “I’m not him” count: We sit around and look at other people and think, why try? As a woman i know I can do this all the time. I’m not Oprah, I’m not Mother Theresa, I’m not Amy Poehler. “I’m not her”, that girl whose very presence tells us what we don’t have more than what we do. You know you can spend your whole life imprisoned by the fact that you aren’t her and her and him. And then what? I say Be you, not them.
- We let our season in life count: We spend so many seasons of our life seeing all the obstacles in the way of why we cant do what we want to do! In college, we say “When I’m out of college.” When we get married we say “When things settle.” When we first get into our career we say “Maybe later.” When we have babies, we say “When they are older.” When they are older, we say “When I am an empty nester.” When we are empty nesters we say, “If i woulda, coulda, shoulda.” Do you think God is surprised by your season? Why are you waiting for a piece of paper to make your life really count? Parents who is telling you that the impact you can have on your babies isn’t huge? Empty nesters, who says you can’t change the world right now? Don’t wait for purpose. Purpose waits for you. Just show up.
- We let self count: Let’s be honest, we are often focused on us; our plans, our path, our promotion, our job, our vacation, our body, our stress. When we live like this, our impact can’t be measured farther than our own nose. All of those things we focus on can count- our plans, our job, our vacation, but in all those things is the focus on you or your impact? You impact others, when others are your focus.
- We let only BIG things count: We overcomplicate impact,. We think “I have to do something huge” and what can I do? I can make a mean chili. I can plant a garden. I can paint. I can do math. Last time I checked Jesus healed a blind man with spit and mud. He fed thousands with one boys lunch. God used a staff to show people whose boss. I am not sure you need much more than a broom, a paintbrush or a pot of soup for God to use you to do something BIG.
- We let fear count: We get on the hamster wheel of fear. What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if people laugh? What if’s will find you at the end of your life asking, “What if I would not have asked what if?”
- We let the haters count: We believe them when they say “You don’t have what it takes. You aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, string enough. You need more of this. You need more of that.” We give the naysyaers, the negative nellies, the critics and the haters’s voices more power than God’s.
When we let these things count, our lives don’t. These things get the best of us. They win. They tell the story. They have the impact. They become what we make count. In our desire to make a difference, to do big things, to be used by God for the purposes for which we were made, may we no longer let these things count, but instead allow our lives to. When we sit on a park bench someday and look back at our lives, may we deeply sense with peace and gratitude that we indeed made it count.