I got up early this morning. I heard the birds chirping outside (weird sense of comfort for me) and made some coffee. Today is just another day–errands to run, writing session this afternoon, phone calls, emails, clean the house–and then I’ll wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. Sometimes I set goals and I’m like “Ok self, I’m going to get everything done on my to do list and be an extra happy person today!” I can be really hard on myself if I don’t get everything done or if I don’t achieve the things I want to achieve. I set really big goals for myself, can be really passionate, and I can sometimes wear myself thin by wanting to change the world.
I’ll never forget a quote from a guy I knew back in high school. He ended up passing away at just 16 years old from a car crash. He believed in God and was so enthusiastic about the Bible that over 2,000 people attended his funeral and over 40 people decided to follow Jesus that day. Truly inspiring. He was known for always asking people this simple question:
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
That question still stays with me to this day. When I’m running myself thin or trying to live up to people’s expectations, I ask myself “What’s it all about?” You see, sometimes we all just run around without an end goal in mind. It literally is like we are chickens with our heads cut off pushing ourselves to the max with no purpose at all. If all of this work and time that we are putting into our daily routines is for ourselves or even for nothing at all then what’s the point? If we could just make it our goal to ultimately please God with everything we do and say, it would take SO much pressure off our shoulders. I would love to have the mindset of Paul in the Bible when he says
“”I have the right to do anything,” you say– but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything,” –but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
It is interesting to me that when Jesus talked, and also when Paul wrote his letters, they always focused on pleasing God first and focused on others second. Never in the Bible does it say to please yourself and be successful to make yourself happy. No– Luke quotes Jesus in Acts chapter 20 “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. I always find that fascinating. We are literally called to live this life to please God and to love others. That’s it. I am in no way discrediting taking care of ourselves and finding contentment with the way God made us (that’s another blog for another day), but when we ask the question “What’s it all about?” we should refocus our lives for a greater purpose and not just the same routines over and over for the hope that we will find happiness. I love this quote from Hellen Keller– “True happiness…is not obtained from self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” I don’t know if she knew God or not, but she recognized that we MUST have purpose in our lives and I love that.
Today I choose to live my life and make decisions to ultimately show people the love that I have from knowing Jesus. That is what I will tell myself daily when I feel defeated or when I feel encouraged. Torn down or lifted up. In good times and bad. I will live my life from the inside out.