(This post is from our good friend Matt Cyrus who shared this message with us and we had to share it with you!)
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
Lately I can’t help but think about everything that we’ve been given. Not just the material gifts we experience as Americans (we have a lot no doubt), but everything else as well. Our passions, gifts, skills, charisma, physical abilities, you name it. What are we doing with it?
Whose voice are you listening to?
Before we can act, or act effectively rather, we need to know who we are. I think one of the big reasons why we aren’t content and feel unfulfilled is because we’re not content with who we are.
But how are we supposed to know who we are when we’re listening to how we should look, talk and act from people who don’t know who they are? They’re just acting the way they do because they thought somebody might like them better if they acted, talked and looked the way someone else does.
It just creates a vicious cycle and sooner or later people don’t even know why they do what they do. Maybe it’s time to go deeper than the surface symptoms.
The older I get, the more I realize how messed up I am, but how good and how big God is.
My confidence doesn’t come from me. I’m average in so many ways. My confidence is that I know an all-powerful God. The one who ignited the stars with a single breath. I can’t even comprehend how big He is.
He knows my thoughts before I even think them, He is more familiar with my habits and quirks than I am, He even knows how sinful and selfish I am, He definitely knows the terrible things I’ve said, thought and done, and yet would leave heaven to come to earth knowing full-well beforehand that He would die an awful death He didn’t deserve. And why?
Because He wanted to be with me. And He wants to be with you.
When it actually clicks how much God loves you, it doesn’t matter what other people say, or think about you. I’m loved and accepted the way I am. I don’t have to prove anything.
But at the same time, He’s too good to leave me where I was and am currently.
I just want this for everyone. Our priorities and expectations are out of whack sometimes. We miss SO much.
So whose voice are you listening to?
Once priorities are in order, the next question becomes: now what?
Open Your Eyes
If there was a theme thought for the last year of my life it would be the above phrase. And it’s been a process.
To be fair, my eyes have been open my whole life. But it was to what I wanted and my “needs.” They still are and I’m still working on changing the filter of what I see and how I think.
Maybe we need to rethink how we think. We’re always thinking about the next thing. I’m always thinking about the next thing.
There’s so many examples…
If I can just make it through to the weekend.
Next year I can finally be done with High School and get on with my life.
I’ll finally be done with college after this semester and get that job I’ve worked so hard for.
Put me at the top of the list when it comes to thinking about the future. I anticipate the future with great hope. But I’m learning(and it’s really hard) to be content in whatever season I’m in I’m even breaking it down to the day and being present in the present moment, and making the most of the moments.
What I do today, affects tomorrow. What I do right now is creating my future.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the grass on the other side, and the things that haven’t happened yet, and maybe never will happen, that we forget to fertilize the grass that’s right in front of us and even spill round-up on it. And then we wonder why things don’t work out the way we expect them too.
I think part of the problem is that we’re near-sighted. So nearsighted that we’ve become blind and numb to the world right around us. Again put me at the top of the list. It’s really easy to focus on my “problems” or issues that I’m experiencing but I think that’s where the light bulb turned on a little bit and a shift in perspective occurred.
Life is not about me.
Maybe we just need to get the focus off ourselves.
It’s crazy how and why this works, but when we shift our perspective; change our attitudes from consumers to producers, we’re the ones who become filled as we pour ourselves out to other people. Maybe it’s because we’ve been taught to take, but we were designed to give.
Every interaction we have is an opportunity to give something. Even if it’s just words.
Words carry life. They also can bring death. Be careful what you choose.
We each have been planted in very specific places and environments, on purpose and for a purpose, and somebody needs you to show up.
Focus on other peoples needs and watch your life change; get them to focus on other peoples needs and watch a culture change.
Who needs you?
What I do today is creating the future. I don’t want my future and what I’m creating to be limited to what happens on earth. I want whatever I do or at least the majority of what I do to matter one hundred years from now. Three million years from now.
We take weeks to plan vacations, our education and careers. Just as many hours maybe more for our retirements and what we’ll be doing for the brief time at the end of our lives on earth, but how much time do we spend thinking about how we’ll spend the millions of years in eternity? And what are we doing to prepare for it?
Know who you are, rethink how you think, be present in the present.
If you made it this far thanks for reading,
CALL TO ACTION
If you want to know how I remind myself of my identity and how you can daily infuse truth, stir hunger for God and live more like Jesus, then check out my “Morning Manifesto.”