“For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world.” Jesus
“I’m bored with my life” and “I’m afraid to make a change.” I hear these two thoughts almost daily in conversations with others and I’ve uttered them more than a few times myself. Apathy and anxiety. Seemingly opposites and yet we can somehow live with both. Perhaps this is a bi-polar heart.
Several nights ago I pulled a book from a bookshelf in our bedroom that caught my eye – Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning. Laying on my bed wondering where to start, I found a dog-eared and underlined page which is where I began reading. Frankl wrote about the need to reorient our heart toward the meaning of our life because most people live in what he calls an “existential vacuum” – a life without a meaning worth living for. He states the effect of which is life in either a state of boredom or distress.
I remember my dad telling me, “there is nothing worse than boredom, so find something to do and work hard at it.” In other words, get busy. It works, except you end up walking away from boredom across the “existential vacuum” right into distress. And in that state, you dream of moments of boredom once again. It’s ridiculous!
But it’s more than ridiculous, it’s tragic. Frankl went on to say, “People today in this existential vacuum either wish to do what other people do (conformism) or do what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).” When I ask people how they got into the job or ministry they are currently doing, their answer is usually because they were told they should do it or they wanted to have another’s life. In doing so, we actually give up our life, our place and our contribution. The only way to resist such a temptation is to understand your calling, the unique glory you possess.
One evening during my three days alone with God, I asked Him where He wanted me to direct my thinking. He asked me to think back through each shift in my working life. I realized that each change was centered on the issue of the alignment of my life to what I had discovered was truest about me, my glory. Sometimes the incongruity between who I was and the position I was in was resolved by a new opportunity that I could easily step into. Other times, I had to leave one place before I could find the next. Some decisions were made out of personal conviction and faith, others out of the coercion of souring circumstances.
With God, the issue is always the aspect of His glory which He has given you and where He wants you to offer it; it’s not “job fit”, advancement or benefits.
Viktor Frankl quotes Nietzsche as saying, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Okay, that’s huge. We must pursue God on our why and trust Him with the how.
Jesus said to Pilate, the one who would brutally beat and crucify him, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world” (John 18:37) Jesus knew his why so He could bear the how.
What is your why?
“God’s calling is the key to igniting a passion for the deepest growth and highest heroism of life”. Os Guinness
With you in the pursuit of a fruitful life,