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Look At The Bigger Picture

cs20140116_derekIf life is a journey from here to there, then would it make sense to know where we are going? Would it not be essential to have a map in this journey that gives us an idea of where we are and where we are heading?

I believe that we can discover our destiny in life if we look for it, in the right places and ask good questions. Our Lord Jesus is a God of revelation. He reveals and does not hide our destiny from us. In the next few paragraphs, we will see how we can know this. Hopefully, we will learn to ask better questions that will bring us much closer to knowing where our lives are heading to.

It is essential to know where we are going when we set out for a journey. Life is a journey. It is first of all a journey of discovery. We want to know why we are alive. What is my life meant for? Whatever the answer is, it will be about knowing, loving and serving. When we live our lives with these intentions, we are happy and fulfilled. When we live selfishly, we will not find happiness or fulfillment. When we live not to bother or care, we become miserable individuals. And if we say that we have loved and served but still did not find fulfillment, it is definitely because we have not loved and served rightly. Learning to love and serve in the way God has intended is another lesson in itself but a beautiful one. One that God loves to teach and we can learn.

So knowing, loving and serving is a universal call for everyone. However, because we are all unique, the way we know, love and serve is different. No one can love and serve the way you do. Your way of loving and serving is completely unique to you and a unique blessing to the people around us. This unique and personal way is our destiny, our calling. When we know our call, we see the big picture. This becomes a knowledge that we can also come back to when we are discouraged, tired or caught in a rut (being busy but heading nowhere). When we see the big picture, we see things in the right perspective. To be able to have a good perspective, I would like to suggest a few ideas that may help us out.

Magnify the Lord with me; and let us exalt His name together (Psalm 34:4). When I heard this Psalm explained to me some years ago, I understood for the first time what the psalmist might have been asking us to do: make God bigger. I reckon that most of the time, we tend to make God really small. We have preferred to blow our problems, mistakes and fears way out of proportion. However, the truth is that God is bigger than our problems, mistakes or fears. Once we have God in perspective, we are at peace and able to trust. If we shrink Jesus in our lives, we will eventually become hopeless and depressed. Simply put it, we do not see the truth and have no freedom (John 8:32). So, let’s put God in the right perspective.

The lives that we live today is a fraction of the whole human race. And if God has a wonderful plan for us, human, then we know that as human, we will have a glorious finale (end). Isn’t it amazing that your life and mine are part of this amazing race, the human race? Our lives are meant to contribute to this glorious end. When we get so caught up and fixated with our issues, we may lose the meaning of why we are persevering through them. But when I see this pain, these issues as part of my life’s journey and the journey of the human race, it becomes more meaningful. For most of us, we can understand the pain of getting our tooth pulled out because we see that in the long run, the pain of a few days will serve us better in the long run. It is better to have the pain of pulling a rotten tooth out or getting that terrible injection when we get our filling done than to have discomfort for a long, long time. If we are able to see our lives in this perspective, knowing that our lives are meant for something now which contributes to the whole of the human race, we see ourselves in perspective.

If we wish to live a meaningful life, we need to know what it is that we want and why. Imagine 2 builders, both putting brick upon brick. When they were asked, “what are you doing?” The first builder answered “Oh, I am just following instructions to put one brick on top of the other.” But the other one said “I am building a cathedral!” Who do you suppose would persevere and find solutions when faced with adversities or problems? I suppose the one who knows that he is building a cathedral. This builder has the big picture in mind. After speaking to so many people, I see that many have no clue as to what they want. And if they can say what they want, many do not know why. Many people, often the younger generation, cannot visualize what they want. Maybe because they have never learned to make decisions. Perhaps they were not given the chance from a very young age. Everything was decided for them, what they eat, wear or have. Or maybe, when they did make some decisions, they were often discouraged and therefore lacked the confidence of ever making good choices. Some of us may be able to say what we want but cannot answer the question “why”. The answer to the “why” question is just as important to the “what” question. I reckon the answer of the “why” questions will give us reasons for doing what we do. And the “why” MUST coincide with (be connected to) the service we are called to. That is why an answer like: just to have a lot of money in the bank, can never be a good enough reason. Money is a resource, a means to an end and is meant to serve us in our call, our purpose in life. Nor will it be good enough when it is just to enjoy life and have no worries. Enjoying life is a by-product of living the call but not an end in itself. What can be our end? What can be some answers to the “why” question? Is it to raise up a new generation to be passionate for God and serving Him/? Or bringing a change for the better in our society? Maybe is it about giving a voice to the women or children who are abused physically or emotionally? Or maybe empowering the marginalized? Whatever it is, it is a service to the human race.

These are some perspectives that I believe we want to have when we think about life. Living our lives as God has designed it, to know, to love and to serve is the ultimate of what our lives can be. In doing so, we will be happy and amazing. My encouragement to all of us is to have the bigger picture in mind when we look ahead at what is coming. See God bigger because He is always bigger and better than you think. Know that your life is wonderful and is part of God’s amazing plan. Be friends of Jesus who knows the Father’s will (John 15:15). And have the end in mind as we live. In doing so, I am certain we will come closer to that awesome destiny God has prepared for us.

Live the Call is a 12-part series dedicated to young adults by Derek Chong, a life-coach and trainer. He can be reached at dchongth@gmail.com

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