Thursday, March 5, 2009

Google Can't Answer Everything

We have been given by God an unlimited capacity to love. How much and how often we choose to show it is up to us, but limitless potential lies within each of us.

However, I do believe that there is a limit to what we should worry ourselves with. As we journey through life, the things that come to our attention as issues to advocate for just grow and grow in number. How do we decide who needs our help the most? Where could we do the most good, make the biggest difference? Just how much do we get involved in?

This is assuming, of course, you are the type of person who feels compelled to care about any issue enough to stand up and try to make a difference. If not, then might I suggest you put down the Wii, turn off the television, and venture beyond the nice comfort zone you've built around yourself?

There are so many things in the world that need attention: poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, child abuse, human trafficking, stray animals, elderly abuse, 3rd-world countries, at-risk youth; and for crying out loud, I just saw a video that's supposed to open my eyes to the horrible conditions circus elephants are subjected to, urging the public to boycott this childhood rite to save them.

Where in the name of Dumbo do we draw the line?

This parallels another issue that often befuddles some people, including myself. And that is trying to ascertain just what spiritual gifts God has equipped you with, and how to best use those gifts in your daily life. Again - how to decide? Where could we do the most good? How much do we get involved in? Where do we draw the line?

More importantly, how do we keep from feeling guilty or inadequate when we do not or cannot do much in some area of need that we know is important?

Pray. First and foremost, we need to seek guidance from the One who placed within each of us those unique gifts in the first place. I believe that God places aches in our hearts for special issues and areas of need, which then lead us to where He can best utilize us.

Listen to your heart. What makes you happy? What activities do you continuously seek out? What skills or talents have you been blessed with? These are some ways to begin to answer "What are my spiritual gifts?" If you are drawn to children and your heart soars when you spend time with them, then this is what you should pursue. If you dread going in to an office every day and long to help those who are ailing, then perhaps your calling is somewhere in healthcare, or mission work. Listening to your heart is a great first step in the right direction.

Let yourself off the hook. We cannot all be good at everything, or have a heart for all causes. My mom loves to work with the elderly and has a huge, compassionate heart for them. My neighbor longs to get back to teaching small children and spend her days in that capacity. These are not my strong areas. In fact, spending day after day with a classroom of children would send me into a drinking problem.

Comparing ourselves to what others are made to do does nothing but undermine our own self-confidence. In this sense, we need to put on our blinders. We cannot all be the goalie on the soccer team, nor can we all be the star in front of the camera. Someone has to play each of the other positions; and all are equally important. Zero in on what you love and what you are good at and go from there. I am a smart aleck, love to write, and love to connect with people through common feelings and emotions. So I spend my time writing sometimes snarky, other times heartfelt and deep pieces hoping to speak to at least one person's heart . . . or to make them laugh.

Remember that life is a journey; and what we are being called to do now is not necessarily what will be our destiny forever. In fact, just when you've finally settled in to what you think you are supposed to be doing and are happy - God may throw you for a loop. He's in charge, and it's His prerogative! Sometimes I think He does this to give us more practice in following instead of always trying to be in charge.

So buckle yourself in, because once you surrender yourself to be completely led to where God wants you to be, you may just be in for the ride of your life.

And therein lies the beauty of it all.
Photo by Eleaf


  1. thank you. for reminding me of the important things.

  2. Ride of your life . . . no kidding!

    When I stopped being a teenage idiot and told the Lord I was done throwing my life away on selfish pursuits, I really had no idea where he was going to take me.

    The past 28 years have been quite an adventure, some of it frustrating, some of it painful, some of it monotonous, most of it too good to describe, and all of it has gone into maturing me. I can't wait to see what I'm going to be when I grow up!