4th Sep, 2008

Why Am I Here?

For the past several weeks I’ve had a tape running through my head. I’ve been wondering what in the world I’m doing. Would I be satisfied if I were working in a fast food restaurant? Would I be satisfied if I were working as a lawyer? Would I be satisfied to be nominated as Vice President? Would I be satisfied to be a professor? Would any of those things really make a difference? Does my life matter? Do I make a difference when I go internationally and try to minister to people overseas? Should I just do that here in the United States? Should I just get a job, collect a paycheck, and live a “normal” American life? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Is it all just vanity? Is it all just another day in the life? Why am I here?

Why am I here?!

Help?! Please stop the tape!

Honestly, the last few weeks have been terrifyingly stressful at times. I keep doubting everything about myself and wondering if everything I do is meaningless, everything I have done is meaningless, and if everything I might do in the future is meaningless.

Then, I realized that much of what was playing over and over again in my head sounded like the book of Ecclesiastes.

 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
       says the Teacher.
       “Utterly meaningless!
       Everything is meaningless.”

 What does man gain from all his labor
       at which he toils under the sun?

 Generations come and generations go,
       but the earth remains forever.

 The sun rises and the sun sets,
       and hurries back to where it rises.

 The wind blows to the south
       and turns to the north;
       round and round it goes,
       ever returning on its course.

 All streams flow into the sea,
       yet the sea is never full.
       To the place the streams come from,
       there they return again.

 All things are wearisome,
       more than one can say.
       The eye never has enough of seeing,
       nor the ear its fill of hearing.

 What has been will be again,
       what has been done will be done again;
       there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:2-9.

You can read and reread the first 11 chapters of Ecclesiastes and feel quite despondent. Some may find it quite depressing to read about the meaninglessness of everything, but I find the book strangely wonderful and ironically comforting. Especially as I read all the way to the end of the final chapter, where Solomon wrote this:

 Now all has been heard;
 here is the conclusion of the matter:
 Fear God and keep his commandments,
 for this is the whole duty of man.

As I remembered those words I realized the only thing that matters is that I hear God’s Word, both His written Word and the words He breathes into my life through His Holy Spirit, and obey Him fully. If God asks me to flip burgers at McDonald’s, then I should do so to His glory, making disciples of Jesus there and living a life of love. If God asks me to go to a third world country and dig sewage, then I should do so to His glory, making disciples of Jesus there and living a life of love. If God asks me to return to work as an attorney, then I should do so to His glory, making disciples of Jesus there and living a life of love. And, as Paul wrote, doing so means doing so with a thankful and content heart, knowing that the One I love is well pleased with my life of love for Him.

Are you listening to His voice? Do you know His commandments in the bible? Do you know what He asks of you?

This is our calling. Whatever He asks, wherever He leads, whatever you do, make sure it is God’s plan for you and do it with all your might for His glory, loving Him and loving others with all your heart, soul and mind.

As you do so remember that we all have different callings and paths, and never let God’s plan for you be a source of judgment of others. He calls us to love one another, not judge.

Listen to His voice, learn and know His Word, and serve Him alone. Offer your requests to Him and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. You can then rest knowing that you have done what is required of you and walk humbly with God.

Remember Solomon’s words: the whole duty of man is to fear God and obey Him. Hallelujah!!!!

Responses

OH yes…I know that tape. Played in my head when I returned last year. Still creeps up occationally but once I’m still and God speaks..all is well.

Oh… i can relate to this also..Isn’t it wonderful that God has a purpose for each of us, individually as well as in a body.

It’s comforting to know others have the same ‘tape’ and more comforting to know God’s faithfullness in staying patient with us as well as we learn to hear God more and more clearly as time goes on.

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