In today’s society, we are surrounded by expectations, goals, and what society sees fit for how one should act. A commonality seen among young adults is something defined as “____ goals.” Fill in the blank as you choose, but I have come to notice that these blanks are filled with worldly matters. Relationship goals, fitness goals, GPA goals, however you phrase it, they are all centered around one common factor: the world.
I believe there is nothing wrong with having a dream and chasing it, but I have learned that you are sure to come up empty handed when you chase after something that is not life giving. Sometimes I catch what I am chasing, whether its a weight loss goal, a relationship or a certain grade, but I find that after i eventually catch the thing I longed for, it is nothing but an empty box. It is much like when you would spend hours digging for the treasure at the bottom of the cereal box when you were little, only to find that they gave you an ad for the newest cereal coming out. yeah yeah yeah, fruit loops can be exciting, but what you really wanted was the treasure. I have found that this common chase causes me to focus on myself and strive for the goodness of man rather than God. This chase has only led me to better myself so that I may be praised in the end, so that I can see the results of MY work. This chase is exhausting and often leads to burn out, but the beautiful truth is that we can stop chasing the world and return home to God because He is always waiting for us.
We must quit chasing ourselves and our own ambitions, no matter if the world offers us the greatest praises. instead, the way to a fulfilling life is quiet paradoxical, as Jesus teaches a way of living that is unlike any other: we must die to ourselves to find life.
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 16:24-25 (ESV)
Throughout the gospel, Jesus often reminds us that once we let go of what we are so selfishly chasing and rather choose to wake up everyday with the intention to chase Him, serve Him and expand the Kingdom around us, we will be blessed in an almighty way. This blessing may not be a worldly one and it may not even fulfill the popular expectations so greatly placed on us in society, but the blessing of salvation is anything but temporary and every bit of fulfilling.
I have been blessed with many opportunities to serve on missions around the world, in my backyard, and serve at many young life camps. Many of these service opportunities allow me to humble myself and see what it truly means to die to myself and follow God as well as serve His people. However, no matter how many times we may be reminded of the beauty of selfless living, we are indeed human. This paradoxical mindset is not an overnight fix and I still struggle with the idea of dying to myself daily, but I have come to see that when we let go of the pressures of the world that commonly lead to destruction, we are blessed with TRUE LIFE.
So friends, let me encourage you, because I know this idea may sound crazy and at the moment much less rewarding.
BUT! The blessings will come. God honors those who live for Him. He will see you use your platform at that job that you may hate, and the promotion will come. He will see you use your singleness for His glory and He will bless you in His time. He will see you treat your body as a temple rather than deprive it from its nutrients and He will restore you with the confidence that outweighs the number on a scale. SO, lose yourself. let go of the world. Let go of the life outside of where there IS LIFE. guard yourself with the truth of the Word to tell the world that you are not here to chase what is attractive, but you are here to chase something that is eternal.
Run after what is good so that you may find true life with the one who dies for you to live in abundance with Him!!!
keep fighting for joy,