“Begin today! No matter how feeble the light, let it shine as best it may. The world may need just that quality of light which you have.”–Henry C. Blinn
I struggled for months with creating this new site and beginning to talk about the book I’m writing.
I believe God directs our paths through providence, provision and innate gifts. He creates each one of us with a special DNA of purpose. For all of us it should include the first question and answer from the “Westminister Shorter Catechism.” My dad kept a little blue paperback version with circles all over the cover in his Bible. I had to be three or four years old when I began learning the foundation of what my life was made for. It asks, “What is the chief end of man?” It answers, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
It is that simple.
The larger question we all ponder is how our circumstances and gifts could be best used to this end.
Months ago, a childhood friend sent me a book written by Emily P. Freeman titled “A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You were Made to Live.” I know it was a nudge from her to consider I might be stuck in my long and painful journey writing occasional posts on a little blogger site because it was safe. She also understood any aspiration for something bigger would be plaguing my heart, because motive is something I live and die by. Is shining the light He created in me toward Him through the story He is writing in my life something pride or selfish ambition are inevitably at the center of? Could I ever see growing my audience and publishing a book as obedience to His call and a way to deeply glorify God and enjoy Him?
I spent ten weeks in late 2011 through early February of the next year at a beautiful lake house recovering from my brain decompression and first fusion. My husband gifted me with the above beautiful piece of art by Kelly Rae Roberts. I would move it around to ensure she was facing the sun as it changed positions from dawn to dusk in this cathedral of a home with a wall of windows. I consider the time I spent there one of the holiest and most soul changing experiences God has ever given me. I collaged a vision board for my heart’s desires. I prayed for hours. I read for hours. I blogged some, and I wrote prolifically in my personal journal. I knew then I was supposed to write this book.
I returned to the dark basement in my parent’s home. I had so many health struggles in front of me, and I felt the Shekinah glory fade away. I began to doubt God, myself and the journey. I wasn’t just hiding my light under a bushel. It almost went out entirely.
Emily writes about a short essay C.S. Lewis penned called “First and Second Things.” He said this, “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose both first and second things.” She elaborates on her own struggle about desires and calling.
Where I’ve run into the most confusion, though, is wondering what it actually means to bring glory to God as a first-things pursuit. It isn’t just me on my knees in an empty room with my hands lifted in the air. It can be that, but it isn’t only that, and I would dare say it isn’t usually that.
How are human beings to reflect the glory of God in the world?
I have been tempted sometimes to throw every single desire I have into the “second things” pile for fear they are things I’m making up. I tend to assume if it’s something I really want, then it isn’t something I should be allowed to have. Am I just being selfish? Greedy? Crazy?
It takes courage to honestly consider desire in the presence of Jesus. Am I brave enough to acknowledge what I most long for? Am I willing to expose my desires in the light of the love of God?
Here’s my favorite part,
As we begin to uncover the desires we may be reluctant to face, remember the Gospel makes it possible for us to confront whatever we see. Christ is intuitive enough to sort out the first and second desires on our behalf.
The timing is now. I’m obeying His providence, His provision and His gift to shine.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way they make see your good works, and glorify Your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NASB)
Is there a desire God has placed in your heart you have been fearful to pursue?
Comment below about a way God could shine through you to accomplish good works and glorify Himself. Share this post or invite someone to join this journey. I am giving away three books I love. “The Lemonade Ripple” is a children’s book by Paul Reichert about how small acts of kindness ripple into big waves of love. “One Good Deed A Day” is a journal with simple suggestions every day on how to reach outside our little worlds and do good. “Shine Through Me” is a journal full of Scripture and beautiful quotes with lots of room to write about what is calling you. The winner will be chosen randomly from all comments. The giveaway will close midnight on Saturday, 11/15/14, and the goodies shipped Monday morning.
Look for a post tomorrow about creating good through our specific gifts.