For a long time I had one goal for my life and that was to do something spectacular. I wasn’t quite sure how it would look or what it would be but I knew that I wanted my life to make an impact.
Growing up with social media makes it even easier to dream big. It’s easy to dream about having the same lifestyle as our favourite singer, to analyse the career moves of someone that we admire or to keep updated with the amazing achievements of our friends. But with so much access to other people’s stories it becomes really easy to lose sight of our own.
Before I know it, I start to compare my own hopes and dreams with everyone else’s. When I look at the place I am at on my imaginary ‘success road map’ compared with the people I admire, it can feel like I am way behind and I feel disheartened. Doubts start to creep in about whether my ‘something spectacular’ really is that spectacular after all, and my enthusiasm dwindles as I start to think that maybe someone else could do it better.
Does this sound familiar? I am slowly learning that the reason this happens to so many of us is because our focus is in the wrong place. When we focus on ourselves and the spectacular things that we can achieve in our lives, it allows space for comparison to slowly creep in.
As daughters of God we are invited to turn our gaze away from worrying about how spectacular we are and to focus on how spectacular He is. He becomes the main character in our story, which takes the pressure off of us.
When we begin to change our focus from the pressure of doing something spectacular in our own strength to simply abiding in His, we begin to realise that His plans for our lives were more spectacular than anything we could have done on our own. It eliminates the problem of comparison because we are no longer living to glorify ourselves and we can focus on using the gifts He has given us to glorify Him instead.
I am so encouraged when I look at the bible and the lives of the disciples. Out of everyone in Israel Jesus chose 12 men, who led very normal, unspectacular lives and made them into God glorifying world-changers. There was no IQ test or popularity contest that they had to complete first, he didn’t choose the 12 that had the best business plan, all they had to do was say yes to one simple instruction…“follow me”.
These men weren’t seeking to lead spectacular lives, some of them even went back to their old jobs before they knew Jesus had been resurrected! All they knew was that they had encountered a spectacular God and wanted to follow Him and His plans, wherever that took them.
God doesn’t promise that when we follow Him and choose His plan over our own that it will look exactly like we imagined, but the bible does tell us this;
“God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20
I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty spectacular to me.