Are you familiar with that yearning to do something of significance with your life? Yes, we know we are making a difference in our family member’s lives, and possibly a few other close relationships. You may even possibly have a job that brings you fulfillment that way. But do you sometimes feel the need to do more, to reach beyond your borders on a larger scale?
There are so many avenues to influence others and show the light of Jesus. It could be through using the creative talents God has blessed you with to share with the world. My youngest sister has a great eye for interior design and shares those ideas with those who are not as gifted in this area. She recently re-designed and updated a church building. The response from those who attend there have indicated the beautiful setting allows them to enjoy the calm, tranquility and helps them feel more worshipful. They are also more excited to invite others to visit.
It may be through volunteer work that opens up a tangible way to influence people. Before the quarantine, my mom volunteered her time visiting people from her church when they were in the hospital and praying with them. She also regularly takes many of her friends to their doctor appointments, runs errands for them, and does things around their homes – never mind that she herself has her own physical challenges!
Or it may be through written or spoken word, such as poetry, writing a blog, speaking or starting a podcast. My other sister published her poems that were written during a dark time in her life. She now uses that poetry as well as other words God gives her to speak to women at our local Gospel Rescue Mission each month.
One young friend of mine is starting a podcast while being home with a 16 month and 2 month old! I’m so proud of her! She has a vision for influencing the world around her that feeds her creative soul at the same time.
What about you? What gifts and talents has God given you? Are there ways you can use them to share the love of Jesus with those beyond your borders?
I can hear you thinking already, “I simply don’t have the time to add anything else.” I’m going to challenge that thinking. For most of us, the ideas such as the ones I mentioned above take only a few hours a week. Is there anywhere in your weekly schedule where your time could be re-prioritized? I know I can waste a lot of time on social media outlets or vegging in front of the television. Be honest with yourself here. I promise you the energy you gain from using your natural gifts will make up for any time lost.
If you’re like most of us, once you find your niche, you are anxious to get things going from zero to 100 as quickly as possible. The problem is … life, work, family are continuing on at the same time.
I recently read an excerpt from the early 1900s by a French Jesuit Priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, that addressed how we may feel when we find a calling but it’s not going as quickly or as smoothly as we would like. I love reading words from earlier generations and seeing how applicable those words still are today—in many areas of our lives.
“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.”
I think one of my favorite parts of that are the last two lines … “accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.” That is not a comfortable place to be! But when you relax and just go with it, you will find there is an energy and excitement in figuring it out. Everything does not need to be in order before you start. Just do it! And allow God to mature your ideas, your thoughts, your giftings throughout the years. You will probably see your original ideas massaged into something quite different that has far greater influence than you ever expected. Or it may simply be a stepping-stone to a talent or experience He wants to use in your life at a later time.
Whatever you dream about, whatever gifts you see God has given you, I urge you to begin now to use them to reach beyond your borders. Each month or year you wait for “better timing” may change or delay the rewards ahead. You have no idea where this may eventually lead! I would love to hear the ways you are using your personal gifts to share Jesus with the world!