I just erased two full paragraphs.
I did not copy and paste the words somewhere else, I did not hit control z. They’re gone. Away from my laptop screen forever, simply because they were just not right.
Sometimes words come easily. Other times, it’s a struggle to even think of a complete thought. Every now and then, life is often the same way: it’s just not right or complete no matter what we do, no matter what we say, no matter how hard we attempt to rectify it.
As I sit here in my favorite locally-owned coffee shop, I see fifteen different people doing something — together in the same room, but each in their own little worlds. Several are working on computers, one is reading a book, a few are laughing and talking to others, one is sipping some kind of caffeinated deliciousness out of a big, white mug while simply staring out the window.
What are they thinking about? Why have they come to this place? Do they ever erase the words they write? Do they ever want life to be something different than what it is? Do they experience feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness? Do they ever feel like life is just not right? Like something is missing or even that life is passing them by?
Over the past five months, I have been working on a certain project. Last week, I was presented with what was supposed to be the final version of this endeavor. But when it was in my hands, when I saw what it was, I knew it was not right. It was not what I had envisioned, not what I had expected, not what I wanted; after hours of deliberation and brainstorming, I finally identified the problem. What I discovered, however, was that it could not stay the same way: something would have to change.
This is often how life is for us while living in this 21st century: something must change. No matter how hard we try to keep “___” the same, no amount of simply ignoring the problem or the wrongness of “___” will make it better.
As the church, we are called to be a light and salt to the world:
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matthew 5:13 ESV).
As women of virtue, women of Christ, women of particular intentionality, we have specific obligations to fulfill to both the Lord and the world. Yet if we lose our identity, our purpose, our intention, how can we be what we are supposed to be for a world that is in need?
Many people in the world have tried everything to meet the needs of life. They have tried drugs, alcohol, promiscuous lifestyles, and immersing themselves in careers and education, but those activities only leave the soul empty and longing for more activity, more satisfaction, more busyness, more something.
Empty gazes, hurting hearts, broken dreams.
That’s what I see around me in this cozy, comforting little coffee shop. I see the need for change, I see people who have real needs that go beyond superficial desires. But do they even know what they need? It took me hours to identify what needed to be changed in my project; how long will it take these precious people to realize that their soul cries out for something they do not posses? When will they understand that Jesus is the only thing that will satisfy their shattered souls? There is a need for change, yes; but not just change for change’s sake. There is a deep need for Jesus to be the center of all that we do.
We have been called to proclaim the gospel to the entire world, yet the world will not accept the gospel until they realize their need for it.
Does that mean that I hide in a hole until they’re ready to experience this life-giving, fulfilling change? Does it mean that I hide my light for fear of being rejected as a Christian? No. Most assuredly NO. In fact, it gives me an even greater call to shine the light of Christ into the world. Just because there are those who will reject the gospel when I share it does not give me the option to be silent; in fact, I have an even deeper obligation to shine brightly in a world that knows not what they have need of.
We must shine the light of Christ in an attempt to give those in need of change an understanding of what kind of change they need: the salvation experience as recorded in Acts 2, a relationship with Jesus, a renewed life purpose, and the fruits of the Spirit active in their lives.
This week, let’s be focused on intentional living through putting Christ first in every aspect of life, whether it be in the way we dress, our thoughts and actions, wedding planning, our home life, or play time. Will you join us in letting your life shine brightly for the sake of Jesus?
I promise that you will find joy and peace in fulfilling your life’s intention by doing so; furthermore, someone somewhere will be forever grateful to you for being intent as a positive influence and example of hope in a generation in desperate emptiness.