Thursday, March 6, 2014

The 20's Challenge: Finding Purpose in Every Moment

Although humorous, this is sadly a depiction of how both young men and women can view their state of singleness.  
In your 20's, you might be getting a bit anxious to run your own home/lead your own family. Because it's difficult as a single adult, finding your place in the family and in life where you are.
Your parents are now more your friends and advisers than what they used to be. You're done with routine school, but still have opportunities to learn. You feel a bit more independent, desiring to provide a small income to meet basic needs that previously parents have met. Perhaps you have some opportunities to travel or help other families, but you still feel the urge to "do something big."
We get stuck in the mundane moments, never stopping to drink in blessings and express gratitude. We are at fault for not putting at the forefront of our minds that we serve a Creator of purpose. We can also fall into looking too far in longing for the future. 
I had a self pity moment about wanting to "do something big" not long ago. Mom gently admonished me using a common parable, but one I often forget.
Every moment, we plant seeds. We are in the gardener's position now. And like a garden, seeds don't come to fruition for some time. But our humanness wants immediate gratification. We love to pat ourselves on the back after a 'big' accomplishment. We are impatient, seeking self glory constantly.
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
Mother also pointed to Jeremiah 29:11. People use that verse constantly. For graduation, taking a big step, encouraging others to move forward because that verse promises something big in the future. But I think we've taken this verse out of context. The title of the chapter is called "A Letter to the Exiles." 
"This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. 
 I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:10-14
The promise God was giving to his people would not be fulfilled for 70 years. Doesn't sound so promising does it? 
But it's a glorious example of how God can work long term. The beauty of this story and what it gives to my heart, is that you or I cannot foresee the future.  We can't know what God is doing in every moment of our lives, and we can trust in His promises, even if there are trials in the present.
So even if you feel you are doing the same thing every day with your siblings, or cleaning the house, or just doing hard work over and over, it counts. It matters. You can unknowingly impact people in the simplest ways. You can plant seeds. You can sing hymns while washing dishes, signifying to your siblings that you're working "as to the Lord." Small things can take root and grow and it could change their motives in everything. 
Our God has a plan. Never forget that. Wherever you are, whatever your tasks may be, God is there, and He is using every small act for His purpose. Take heart dear souls, and press on!
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
"What is man's chief end?- To glorify God and enjoy him forever." (Larger catechism)


John-Mark said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing the Jeremiah scripture. How often I forget that God has His own timing. 70 years....

How's the funding for the Peru trip coming along? That is something big!

Happy Birthday :-) BTW

Bria Crawford said...

*Looks embarrassed* just saw I had neglected to answer you John-Mark.

God blessed the funds tremendously! I had all I needed over a month ago. He is so good. I can't way to see how he uses me and what He will teach me.