I find it so easy to give into a life less than what God desires. I hone in on my own needs and my own agenda for life at the denial of noticing everything else going on around me. And this inclination of mine is an example of why so few of us are living significant lives. We choose less than what is offered us in this life.
Time and time again, I choose comfort over calling.
Choosing comfort is simply easier. It doesn’t involve any risk, pain, or struggle. It’s predictable and means life can become reliable. A small and yet meaningful shift must take place if we have intention of leading lives of significance. Life is a story, and if there is a story, then there must be a storyteller.
We have issues figuring this out because the story isn’t about us.So we spend most of our time trying to create a life-story that centres around us as the main character and always wonder why we’re never fulfilled.
Over the last several years I’ve slowly been learning a lesson many wise people have tried to teach me: People matter more than tasks. When we value tasks, we use people rather than caring for them. When engaging with a situation I often find myself approaching it with the question: What can I get out of this for myself?
But lately I’ve been trying to instead ask: How can I pour myself into this for others?
And this is when the answer to why so few are living significant lives becomes so vividly clear. The skies have parted and the sun is shining through the break in the clouds, and the answer, none of us really want to hear. Who really wants to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others?
If we want to do work that matters, and extend our lives beyond ourselves, we must see the calling as quite clear—die to self. Kierkegaard understood this quite well when he said:
“The tyrant dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his rule begins.”
Significant life begins with death. A death that calls us away from ourselves toward the true calling God has given us in our worship of Him.