Okay, let’s have some real talk. Let’s take a moment to pause, breathe in some pure summer air, and be present in this moment, wherever you are, wherever you’re reading this. The pace of life always seems so busy, doesn’t it? Or at least it looks like everyone else is busy doing, achieving, and creating, and we have to run against the current of our own inabilities to keep up. It’s exhausting. The comparison game. Competing for success, recognition, beauty. The question of who’s the prettiest, fastest, strongest, will always linger unanswered. But, nonetheless the invisible standard slips into the air we breathe, and it can be suffocating.
There’s nothing that crushes joy quite like running in a race and towards a purpose that you weren’t intended to pursue. But, I think we are all guilty at some level of measuring ourselves against the people to our right and to our left, questioning whether our own talents or position in life are level with the people standing around us. I think we like to blame social media or good genes or Hollywood for this uphill battle. While the glossiest versions of our friend’s lives can strike a nerve, they are far from the root of the problem.
See, we were created for purpose, for beauty, for love, and purity, and an awful lot of joy. We crave the kind of life without bumps, bruises, and times where our hearts are raw with grief. Although this type of deep down desire points our hearts to the healing peace and love of Jesus, we still struggle to see past the imperfections of our lives. We are a near sighted kind of people. Instead of looking past the brokenness of this world to the joy that lies ahead, instead of resting in the promised hope of Jesus and finding our identity in Him, instead of expecting goodness to emerge out of his providence, we question. We worry, we compare, and wish, and hurt for different circumstances.
Sweet friends, my heart is breaking as I write this because we miss so much joy in the direction and purpose that God has created us individually to fulfill if we are constantly longing for a different life. You were created by God for His glory. Really think about that, though. No matter your status in this world, no matter your success or failure, your exact story is creating radiance and worship for Jesus. How beautiful is this type of purpose?
Jesus not only sacrificed His life to free us from slavery to sin while we were His enemies, He not only promises to walk with us, to draw near, to empathize and forgive and carry us in our weakness, to protect our fragile hearts and to provide an unshakable hope for future glory that anchors our heart in every moment. No. He also gives us a purpose as beautiful as the first rays of the sun peaking over the wild ocean. Creating beauty out of the dullness and deadness, God did something wholly breathtaking when He formed His children. Our passions, gifts, and talents, no matter how influential or ordinary they may appear are the specific tools he has given us to breathe life and light into a world so heavy with pain.
Let’s not forget that the way you look, the amount of money you make, the family you have, or the career you pursue, are truly essential to the way you influence the kingdom. Because He sees you. He knows you. He loves you. Every imperfection, every hurt, and rough edge, and beautifully adventurous part of your soul. When we compare and question and wish for a better life or better circumstances, we miss the beauty and the purpose of God moving in our lives right here and right now. Let’s find life in the words of Jesus today because no matter how perfect or adventurous or successful or free someone’s life looks, the effects of sin still cause tension, even if it’s unseen. In this tension, we have the opportunity to draw near and see the beauty that Jesus is creating in pain and in joy. Please, sweet friends, let’s strive together to live fully in the moments and the experiences that God brings into our lives.
Let’s wake up seeking God with our whole hearts and pursuing the adventure that he creates out of the mundane moments. It’s here that we are making an impact, one that God chose for us specifically. It’s at these times that I’m reminded of the words of Mordecai in Esther 4:14, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” God has created opportunities for you to redeem and restore this world through the power of the Gospel in your life. Let’s find hope here today to move forward, working together towards the calling of our God, joining hands and hearts in pursuit of the King and letting the walls of comparison crumble before the passionate purpose we have been created to pursue together.