Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Spur

Hi everyone - here's my weekly column, The Spur for today -

Filling In The Blank
By Marcia Lee Laycock

"He/she was born to ........" (fill in the blank with the appropriate words). It might be any number of things – run, sing, play hockey, write poetry, act on a stage, administer a large company, serve in the military, police a small town, run a small business, care for a family, etc. etc. etc. Many of us spend our lifetimes trying to discover what the words in the blank space should be. We switch jobs every few years, not because there is something better to go to, but because we’re bored with what we’re doing. When we fail to discover what we’re born to do, the grass always looks greener in someone else’s back yard. Some of us never do discover those few words that describe the niche where we belong. Many are just concerned with trying to "make a living." We have to eat, afford a decent place to live, buy the clothes and other necessities that we need. Concern about what we were born to do tends to fade quickly as we face the cold realities of life.

In a world where choice is not only taken for granted, but considered a right, it is easy to be overwhelmed and even fearful of not making the right decision. Just ask any grade twelve student who is about to graduate. Many of them just decide not to choose. They don’t go to college, because they aren’t sure what they want to become. They don’t pursue a trade because they don’t want to waste the time if it’s not for them. So they float – live at home and work at one of the local burger joints. There are a lot of people out there who spend their whole lives floating. They make enough to survive. Some make more than enough. But those blank spaces remain empty.

Perhaps we are all looking in the wrong place, trying to fill the wrong blank space with the wrong words. Perhaps the importance of making a living and finding your niche in life should be a secondary consideration. The apostle Matthew tells us what Jesus said about this matter; there was a large crowd listening to him and he gave them some of the most profound and significant teachings of his entire ministry as they sat listening on a mountainside. He said – "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.... But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:25-34).

Perhaps, then we should all fill in the blank with the same words – He/she was born to glorify God. Perhaps that is the niche we were all born to fill. Perhaps once we discover that, all the other details will fall into place, just as Jesus said they would.

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