Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Search for Significance

I have been told that the first half of our life is often focused on the goal of trying to be successful. The second half we often shift our focus in an effort to become significant. Today I turn 40 and technically begin the second half. I am on top of the hill, so they say, about to make my way over the hill. And to be honest...I'm excited.

However, I understand all too well this idea of wanting to be significant. I considered this thought just this morning. It doesn't seem to me that the desire to be significant is bad desire in and of itself. The key seems to be in whose eyes you desire to be significant.

All too often, I find myself desiring to be significant in the eyes of others - to impress people, to be respected, to prove that I am somebody important. And not just anybody. I want to be somebody important in the eyes of my boys, somebody to be respected in the eyes of my wife, somebody cherished in the eyes of my friends. That doesn't seem all that bad does it?

It does if my life becomes a stage upon which I perform to gain satisfaction from the acceptance of those in the audience. If I am looking for the applause of significance from family and friends, I am destined to be will they.

However, if my significance is found in Christ alone. If I am willing to become lesser, so that He might be greater. Now I have something that promises to fulfill both myself and those whom I love most. When I find my significance in Christ, my audience of One, my love for others will be mutually satisfying because it will be an outflow of the love of Christ. That is a well that will not run dry and a spring of eternally refreshing water.

I came across a prayer this week that I desire to make the prayer this "second half" of my life. A prayer of significance found only in my surrender to God. I have changed a few words to make it my own. Lord, hear my prayer:

"Lord, I give myself to You, whatever it may mean. Take every aspect of my life and use me for Your kingdom to glorify Your name. I'm not here on earth to do my own thing, to seek my own fulfillment, or my own glory. I'm not here to indulge my flesh, to increase my possessions, to impress people, to be popular, to prove I'm somebody important, or to promote myself. I'm not here even to be relevant or successful by human standards. I'm here to please You, to fulfill Your plans, to serve Your church.

To live like this, I surrender myself to You, to know You, to love You, to honor You, to obey You, and to grow in our holy relationship made possible by Your greatest sacrifice. I desire to become a person who lives and grows in reverent awe of You.

I'll do anything that you want me to do because I know you will lead me; go anywhere you want me to go since I know you will go with me; and say anything you want me to say because I know you will fill me. My trust is in no one else but You alone.

Father, if you want to use me in a way that I'm not used to, I yield myself to that. Today I affirm my love for you Jesus, and I choose to live and minister under Your control and in Your way. I trust that You will not do for me what I must do, but You will also not let me do what only You can do. Holy Spirit teach me, guide me, empower me for Your good and for Your glory. Amen"