Have you ever felt like you were made for something greater or there must be more?
Recently, I watched a movie called The Great Debaters with Denzel Washington. It’s a true story about a debate team from an all black school in Texas that rose to national prominence in the early 1900’s, defeating one of the best debate teams in the country. They used their platform to talk about the effects of racism in the South and the coach and some of the team members went on to become influential figures in the civil rights movement. It got me thinking about my life and how I want to make an impact in this world. Like you, I want to do something that matters. It’s not that I’m unfulfilled in what I’m doing or think it’s not a worthy cause. It’s just that I am not content with status quo.
Have you ever felt like you were made for something greater or that there must be something more? We all struggle with that feeling from time to time or for some of us maybe it feels like all the time. In terms of work and vocation, 70% of American workers indicated that they are extremely dissatisfied with their jobs. (1) Or you may be in the other 30% that are totally happy with what you are doing or wouldn’t change everything but maybe feel, well…discontent with status quo.
I’m the type of person that needs to be starting things, forging ahead, and moving – otherwise, I find myself getting bored very easily. Recently, I realized this is how God created me. In the past, I thought it was a weakness. If overextended it certainly could become one, but now I’m becoming more comfortable with the fact that this is how God wired me. I am a pioneer. It feels good to say that. I’m not big on giving myself titles. This is more of a self-realization than it is self-promotion or being self-absorbed.
What is it about yourself that you need say out loud? Something you’ve realized or are in the process of realizing that you’ve been afraid to say? I’m giving you permission. Go ahead and say it.
Go Ahead, Inspire Yourself
Maybe you think this sounds narcissistic or self-promoting? Think again. Listen what the psalmist David said, “…David encouraged himself in the Lord His God” (see 1 Samuel 30:6). Although our circumstances may be different than what David was facing, the fact remains: sometimes we have to encourage ourselves in the Lord. The Bible doesn’t tell us what David did to encourage himself, but I tend to think he simply spoke the promises of God over His life and situation. In other words, he spoke over himself the things God had already spoken over him – through the Bible or through direct revelation. Here are a few circumstances when we may need to do that:
- When we are feeling down
- When we are unsure of who we are
- When we find ourselves dwelling on past failures
- When others don’t see us for who we are
- When we just can’t seem to get a break in life
- When we are dissatisfied with our lives
- When the storm is raging around us and we feel like we are going to drown
- When we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel
I don’t know what camp you are in – the 70% that are extremely dissatisfied with their work or the 30% that really enjoy what they are doing, but the fact remains, Jesus knows where you are now and where you are going and He wants to encourage you in the process. Whether you need to make a complete change or just small tweaks, He knows your needs and desires, and longs to give you something more.
What are some things you’ve found helpful to encourage yourself?
Next time we will continue exploring the tension between where you are now and where you want to be. We will talk further about encouraging ourselves in the Lord and what that looks like on the way to something greater…
I leave you with this quote by Howard Thurman that has always been an inspiration to me,
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive!
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