I’m not sure if it’s the chill that comes into the air, the noticeably shorter days or just the change of pace that occurs in September, but even without school-aged children, it feels like the beginning of a new chapter, a new period of time.
And so, to me, it feels similar to the start of a New Year…getting back into a more scheduled life after a summer thrown to the wind! A time for re-focusing and renewing commitments.
Perhaps a good time for a New Year’s Resolution!
In the first few days of this September, I have been pondering my purpose in this life.
With all the busyness and craziness life can bring us, there seems to be something missing in the midst of it.
My husband and I have recently moved from the city into bush country. We are enjoying God’s creation, the peace and quiet, and the rest from our commitments for a while! But in this slower pace of life, as we take some time before we jump into new areas of service and involvement, I find myself really questioning what my purpose is on this earth.
It has always been easy enough to serve God in whatever position or situation I find myself in. But when “situations” and “positions” are stripped away and suddenly I am not involved in a myriad of activities–when the quiet is deafening and there is no direction given–then what is my purpose? How do I love others when I’m not in contact with anyone outside my own family? How do I serve when I have no position from which to do it? And are those the things that matter the most anyway?
And I’m brought to the stark reality that the one relationship that makes all the difference in the world is the one that I’ve been neglecting during those years of busyness and service. In loving others, I have been too busy giving to everyone but the Source of my love. In serving, my eyes have turned from serving my Savior to serving mere humans.
Shame on me.
Like the old hymn says:
Thou hast created all things, And for Thy pleasure they are created: For Thou art worthy, O Lord!
As pleasurable as the blessings of this world are to us, they were created by God and for God. Why? Simply because He is worthy of all the pleasure He can gain from it!
So, in considering my purpose here on this earth, it can only be for HIS pleasure and glory. Not mine.
There are many things I would like to do for MY pleasure or to make me feel good about my worth here on this earth. But it’s not about me, is it? If I receive no recognition for anything I do on this earth–my entire life–and if I am a failure by the world’s standards, God’s purposes for me don’t change.
So what is God’s purpose for me?
Here are some things that have been whispering in my spirit lately…
- I am the only one on this entire earth who has been blessed and appointed to be mother to MY children.
- I am the only one on this entire earth who has the pleasure of walking through this life hand in hand with my husband.
- I am challenged in God’s Word to be a good steward of what I’ve been given, whether that be my time, relationships, body, mind, money, etc., and use them in a manner pleasing to God (Matthew 25 and others).
- I am responsible to love all those I come into contact with, even my enemies, and to pray for them (Matthew 5:43-48).
- I also know that I need to be an ambassador of God’s truth and grace that can set people free from the bondages of this world…even if they don’t think so (John 8:32).
In light of all these purposes that God has already set out for me in His Word, I’d love to become a woman who:
- Is a spiritually life-giving force to my children and husband, encouraging them, lifting them up in prayer like only a mama and wife can, and setting an example of Godliness that will endure for many generations.
- Takes care of my body, my money, my mind, my time, my relationships in a way that consistently honors God and bears fruit in God’s kingdom.
- Exudes the love of Christ and the uncompromising truth of the Bible as a mature, prayerful warrior for the Most High God!
And so, as I lift up my eyes and heart and pay attention to who God calls me to be in his Word, I realize it isn’t actually about my relationships with others nearly so much as it’s about my relationship with my Creator. It’s about building it on purpose, living purposefully with His love and grace and compassion and truth at the forefront of my mind and longing to share them with others because I am experiencing them myself as I take the time to learn from Him moment by moment.
Elizabeth George, in Life Management for Busy Women, challenged me to “refuse to miss a day” when it comes to Bible reading and prayer. I know fully that any sort of advancement in my character, love, grace, faith, or knowledge of truth can only be made as I grow in relationship with my heavenly Father. And that can only be done over time.
But I have no time!
Elizabeth also challenged me with the testimony of Susanna Wesley. Susanna, the mother of 10 living children (9 others died in infancy) and wife to a man who was rarely home, set about to train and home school her children on her own and still managed to spend two hours a day in prayer! Two of her sons, some of the weakest as children, went on to leads thousands of people to the Lord!
So, what was my excuse again? 🙂 We can all make time.
WE CAN ALL MAKE TIME.
Our use of time is the most accurate reflection of our true priorities and values.
So I invite you to join me…
I am challenged this September, as a new season begins, to renew my commitment–or rather, re-start my commitment–to spend regular time with God EVERY day. I don’t want to look back in 10 years and be at the same place I am now!
I want to be able to look back and say, “Wow! God, it’s been so wonderful to have the spiritual vitality and the physical strength to live fully like Christ each day. Thank You for all the opportunities You gave me to touch the lives around me with Your love, grace, compassion and truth! And thank you that I am closer to you now than when I wrote/read that post on Manna for Mom 10 years ago!”
Ladies, let us determine in our hearts to take a few purposeful actions so we have energy to grow:
- Let go of distractions that eat up our time and energy,
- Spend some time in physical exercise each day and eat decently,
- Get to bed at a decent hour, so we can
- Wake up to a few (or many) moments with God before we get caught up in our crazy daily life.
And let us bring everything under the scrutiny of a focused heart. If it doesn’t aid us in our walk with the Lord or what He has called us to, then let us reconsider if it is worth our very, very precious time.
That is my September New Year’s Resolution. Will you help hold me accountable? Will you join me?
We are but a breath on this earth and then we are gone.
We may not conquer all the goals this world would have us build for ourselves, or that Satan would like to distract us with, but I just want to be able to face our wonderful Father, for whose pleasure we were created, and hear Him say, “Well done” (Matthew 25:21)! Don’t you?