Have you ever felt like a burning candle in a dark room? I’m pretty sure a candle has no emotions, but if it did, don’t you think it would feel like it didn’t belong, out of place, different, or even lonely? Okay, so maybe this isn’t the best analogy, but I know I’ve felt that way. Don’t we all devote much of our time to working and fulfilling many other responsibilities and commitments? Can we really get everything done? In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren writes, “It is impossible to do everything people want you to do. You have just enough time to do God’s will. If you can’t get it all done, it means you’re trying to do more than God intended you to do.” (31)
Sometimes I feel lost and out of place (like that candle,) and unsure of whether or not success will follow my tireless efforts. Galatians 1:10 is a constant reminder to seek God’s support, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
For most of my life, I often felt like I didn’t meet the world’s standards. I kept trying to mold my to- do list, personality, quirkiness, flaws, and who I was on the outside and inside in order to fit an unrealistic standard of perfection and what I thought the world wanted me to be. I wanted to follow the crowd, but I didn’t know how. Clearly, I wasn’t made for that.
After dedicating my life to Jesus, it took a few years before I slowly began to discover the beauty in standing out and going the opposite way, (God’s way.) Psalm 139 says, “For you created my inmost being, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God not only showed me that I could be accepted just the way I was, for who I am, but also that it’s such a blessing to be unlike anyone else. Why? Simply because we can’t be mediocre if we’re to win souls for Christ and change lives. We cannot settle for average (or worldly standards) when we were made for extraordinary and eternity! Rick Warren says, “When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in the light of eternity, and that will color how you handle every relationship, task, and circumstance.” (37)If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what's the point? --Rick Warren "The Purpose Driven Life" (32-33)
Are you afraid of standing out? I mean, most of us want to fit in and be accepted by others, right? Probably. However, the Bible tells us differently in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Don’t follow the crowd, you’ll get lost. Like me, I don’t believe you’re made for it. So which way are you going? Are you pursuing the approval of the world, or are you going the opposite way?
"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explaination is that I was made for another world." --C.S. Lewis