There is something about impending parenthood that causes one to take stock of her life. As well it should, I suppose.
For as long as I can remember I have aspired to “greatness” (whatever that means). I’m sort of a “jack of all trades”. I love learning new things, but have somewhat of a short attention span. Once I’ve learned “enough” (whatever that is), I’m ready for the next thing (this has been true in all but three areas – teaching, writing and God’s Word).
In recent years, I have taken the time to reflect on the many careers I have desired from childhood. Some pursued. Others dreamt about. There was a running theme – each would have allowed me to enjoy fame and/or fortune. Either would have been acceptable, both were highly desired. Yet, God has a sense of humor. As I investigated pursuing an MBA in international business, He decided that a pit stop was needed – seminary. Mind you, this little detour didn’t disturb me much. I figured I’d spend two years learning about Jesus and theology (after all, that was a “good thing” to study), then go back to minding my own business (hoping God would mind His) by doing the international business thing. That (the MBA) never happened. As a matter of fact, during my first mission trip, while touring a school in Ghana, God very clearly said “Well, you don’t get more international than ministry”. That settled it.
The problem is the fame and fortune thing didn’t completely go away. It simply laid dormant waiting for the opportunity to rear its head. And, it still does.
Tonight, as I lay in bed mentally thumbing thru the pages of my life, I panicked, wondering what would become of me over this next year, over the next few years. How could I possibly attain “greatness” (i.e., fame and fortune) as a stay-at-home mom? What do I do with my experiences, my education, work? Have I missed my opportunity? What will become of me? Where will I find my significance?
Gratefully, before I went to bed I voiced all of this to my dear hubby who knew enough to just pray. And, as I lay in bed pondering, wondering how do I get beyond this striving for significance and “greatness”, and trying to find my place and purpose, this passage came to mind:
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…Philippians 3:7,8.
In other words, I have spent my life desiring (albeit secretly) the wrong “greatness”- my imagined version of greatness that somehow continually eluded me because each accomplishment left me striving for and wanting an even “greater” one. AND, to make matters worse, there was always someone else who was “greater”.
But, there truly is SOMEONE ELSE who is far greater, and it is knowing Him – not reading about Him, not learning about Him, not studying about Him, not knowing about Him – but knowing Him, intimately, like one knows the habits and character of a beloved child, sibling, spouse, or friend – it is knowing Him, to the point of wanting to give Him my all because I love Him just that much –THAT is greatness.