Every so often, I find myself reviewing my purpose. What am I here for? Or: What on earth am I doing here? Even: What on earth do I THINK I am doing? And even more frequently, What have I done to get myself into this mess and how can I possibly get out of it?
I won't attempt to answer those questions. Not here, not right now anyway.
But I came across some thoughtful words. Ruth Haley Barton in Longing For More, IVP (ISBN 978 184474 2059, because I've only read an extract in a magazine which I will no doubt lose and I do want to get the book sometime).
She has reminded me that:
- I need not be defined by other people's expectations of me.
- My purpose is to reflect God's character, to love him, and to be honest with him.
- My purpose is also to acknowledge and develop the abilities he has given me, in the situation he has put me in.
Not always simple, but easy. As long as I keep these priorities in mind and take opportunities daily, not putting them off.
So…I can certainly develop kindness with every chance to help someone out.
I can take time to write a few thoughts. I can't draw or paint, although I am beginning to wonder if I might be able to if I tried, but I can use words.
I can become more expert at organising my class, a church cleaning party, a Bible study for home group, and keeping my house clean and tidy. Well, the latter isn't done quite so well. That area of my organisational abilities probably needs developing more than others.
So God is like a photographer in the darkroom of life, maybe. The developing fluid sloshing over the imprinted photographic paper is life with all its challenges, sloshing over us. As we respond, our picture – who we are – emerges. How God must be delighted to see the completed photo emerging!