It's not about me.
I still remember those words from the first pages of The Purpose Driven Life. Quite an odd opening statement especially for a book meant for someone wanting to discover his/her own life's purpose.
But the truth is, it isn't about us. In Colossians 1:16 it says, "Everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him."
When we begin to think about what we want to do in life or what we're here for, it's easy to immediately look within ourselves - our talents, interests, and desires - and doing so is not entirely wrong. In fact, a lot of our curiosity, abilities and yearnings reveal a very specific design put there by God so we can accomplish a specific task He has planned for us to do.
But when we intentionally seek to live a life that is purposeful, we ought to look first AND always to our Creator whose plan for us existed long before we were even conceived, without our input. It is entirely HIS idea and is meant to give back glory to HIM.
This concept goes against the grain of our culture. We want to make a mark for ourselves. Often when we talk about our dreams in life and what we want to accomplish, it's a conversation about self-fulfillment - the career we want to have, the kind of family we want to raise. We have grand and honest plans of how to make an impact in the world in the time we're given. And those aspirations can be great and noble and exciting. However, if all our work point back to ourselves instead of our Creator, then we fall short in being what we were ultimately created for - to give Him glory.
I'm reminded of a song by Nichole Nordeman and want to share a portion of it with you:
"I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights,
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world.
I want to leave a legacy,
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough?
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy."
I pray that our desire to bring glory to our Creator would outweigh our pursuit of our own ideas of a well-lived and purposeful life. And I pray even more that one day, both of those desires will mean one and the same for us.
- Milcah Cruz