Friday, November 6, 2009

My Search for Significance

Lately I've been experiencing one of those divine lesson plans. You know, it's been one of those weeks where everywhere I turn God is sending me little learning exercises that reinforce the overall truth He seems to be trying to teach me. He is indeed the Master Teacher, even uses multiple teaching aids to get His point across so that no matter my learning style that particular day, the lesson finally sinks in with me. And He's not afraid to load me down with some homework either!

At any rate, this week our theme has been "The Search for Significance." Through multiple venues God has been teaching me that indeed we all desire to feel a little important, noticed, sought out, significant. And maybe, if the truth be known, I'm one of those people who is more hung up on that particular craving than most. Some people crave security, others hunger for love, and others desire companionship. To be honest, I want to be noticed. Some of you who know me pretty well are probably thinking, "I knew it! I'm glad she's finally admitting it!" Indeed, I do relate to those pathetic people of Babel who were trying to make a name for themselves! It's sad, really. But don't worry, God and I have been working through this and He's already shown me where my pride is tripping me up. He's faithfully knocked down every tower I've tried to erect and, just like at Babel, He's made sure I'm left stunned and confused when necessary.

But here's the good news. I've learned from so many different sources this week that I can indeed be important. That is, I'm already important. To my God, that is. He loves me. I'm the apple of His eye. He wove me together in my mother's womb and designed me just so. He chose me to be one of His own. He sent His son Jesus to live, die, and rise again for me. He forgives me for every wrong I do. He's preparing a lovely place for me to spend eternity. And one day He's going to send Jesus to come and get me and bring me home. I'm extremely important. And, good thing is, I don't even mind that you're extremely important too. With a God as big as mine, there's plenty of significance to go around.

You see I believe our pride can fuel an over stimulated need to feel important and that kind of drive can lead to arrogance, self-importance, defiance, and a life poorly lived. But I also believe that God Himself has planted within each of us a certain measure of desire for significance. He wants us to hunger for significance. Why? Because He wants that hunger to draw us to the only true source for significance - Him.

Have you ever so admired someone famous or important that you just want to rub shoulders with them a little? You think that maybe if you hang with them a little some of their importance might rub off on you? I know I have. But when I really put enough thought into it, I realize that hanging out with someone famous in this world would not be fulfilling at all. For instance, if I were having lunch with, say, Laura Bush at a cute little restaurant in Dallas, I might feel important for a little while, but inevitably people would probably keep interrupting our lunch so they could talk to Laura. They wouldn't, however, pay me any heed. As we left the restaurant, the manager would probably smile and say, "Thank you for dining with us today, Mrs. Bush. Please come again." But he probably wouldn't say anything to me. No, the truth of the matter is that rubbing shoulders with Mrs. Bush would not make me feel significant at all. In fact, I'd probably go home feeling less significant than ever!

On the other hand, when I spend time with Jesus, He makes me feel like He is totally focused on me, and I believe, somehow, He is! Not only that, no one is allowed to interrupt Him when He is talking with me or listening to me. If there are any interruptions, it is on my part, not His. And when I close the time on our session together, I leave His presence feeling more significant than ever. He elevates me by giving me purpose and work to do on His behalf. He reminds me just how important my work is to Him - the little things, that is, like taking care of my children, encouraging my husband, and speaking a word of kindness to a Christian sister. And I can go through the rest of my day knowing that I matter. Not because I built a mighty tower or made a name for myself. Not because people are lined up for my autograph or even because some editor wanted to buy my article. Not because I have money or talent or fame. No, I'm important and significant because I ... am ... His.

Feeling a little insignificant lately? That's how my week began. But God has been so good to teach me this week that I am extremely significant. If you're hungry for a little significance, tell Him. In fact, whatever you're needing, tell Him. He's a Master Teacher and I bet He can give you some homework too.

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