I am on a journey. It started 9 months before I was born and still continues today. The journey is called “life.” And, on this journey the only constant is change. To journey you must always be changing, growing, stretching, maturing, and moving forward. Real life needs to be lived and is not something you can handle in a passive manner. Life should never happen to you – you would always make life happen.
So many people simply wake up in the morning, do their morning routines, go to work, perform well at their job, come home to a fairly standard evening routine, go to bed and wake up to begin another day. In my mind that means they are living to work and God wants us to work so that we can live. And, life is something we need to grab hold of and live for all it is worth. Each day. Every day.
I fall asleep at night having maximized each day and given every event, person, and activity my best effort and full focus. I live each day to the fullest and work hard not to waste time as it is in such limited supply and needs to be used wisely. You can do three things with time. Waste it. Spend it. Invest it. I work hard to invest my time wisely and to the maximum benefit of others.
That is what Jesus asks us to do and what He will hold us accountable for when we stand before Him on our judgment day. To invest your time means to invest your life. To invest your life you need first to come to know yourself – who you really are. To come to know yourself means entering the journey, your journey called life. It means you can’t be passive and just sit there letting life happen to you.
Coming to know the real you that God planned and created is not easy nor quick. For most people the real “you” is buried beneath societal norms, family expectations, the demands of life, and the hurts and disappointments of the past. So, you will need to dig the real you out from under all that ‘garbage’ that keeps you from knowing you.
God said to the prophet Jeremiah that he was to uproot and tear down. Then he could build and plant (Jeremiah, Chapter one). This is what must happen in us and with us as we journey to discover the real you that God created. It is not easy. It takes time. But it is the foundation of a life lived in such a way as to please God. It is the only way to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Most people, including most believers, have not taken the time to discover themselves. Life is not a journey for them. It seems to be a destination and they feel like they have arrived. So, they don’t change and are not growing, developing and maturing. To be honest, they are boring – seriously boring. They focus on themselves and all that has and is happening to them and constantly share their issues with others who will listen. They are not seeking help. They are not seeking to be understood. They are simply seeking to be heard. At the best, they are seeking sympathy. And, these people don’t have room in their heart for others because they are totally self-focused and self-absorbed. Thus boring and ‘dead.’ No journey. No discovering of self. No growth. No change. No life.
Those who are on a journey of self-discovery are exciting to speak with. They are seriously other-focused as they want to enter into other peoples lives so they can hear new things and enlarge their perspective. They love listening to others. They look for new adventures, new things to become involved in. They always have something fresh to share, something exciting. Yes, they may talk belfry about themselves but it is always how they are growing, what they are learning, where they are planning to go, what the Holy Spirit is speaking to them today. And, they share to encourage others to join with them on the journey.
They are constantly growing and changing and so everything is always new, fresh, thus powerful and interesting. Because they are coming to know themselves better they are secure in who they are, confident in where they are at, bold with what they believe, and excited about all that is happening. They are living life. Engaged in life. Embracing life. Making life happen. They are happy and interesting people to know and be with. And, they will challenge you to join them and Jesus on the journey called discover life.
So, this summer, take some time to begin your journey or renew your journey Take some time alone to think and pray as you look inward. Share what you are discovering with someone you trust, someone who is also on their own journey. You will learn so much more about yourself as you share your discoveries with them. And, you will get a different perspective as you listen to them share their discoveries with you. No two journeys are the same but you can journey together and help each other as you do.