What Matters?

What Matters?

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

God is reshaping my life, again. Seven months ago I walked away from a large ministry platform and a job where I had a voice, impact, and visibility. I walked away and started a small start up ministry. No insurance, no team, no guarantee of income or impact. 

People tell me, “God’s going to do great things through your new ministry. It’s going to impact thousands.” I smile and nod.

I know they mean well… I just know it’s not true. Not because what I have to offer isn’t valuable but because Scripture doesn’t tell us this. Paul went from preaching to thousands to speaking to one, his bodyguard. God doesn’t promise us a successful ministry life (at least not as we define it).

More than once, as I sit alone in my office writing blogs, books, messages, I’ve wondered does this really matter? Is anyone listening?

I’m woefully aware my ego is involved here.

I suspect we all feel this at one time or another. Whether it’s starting out in corporate America…or leaving corporate America to be a stay at home mom…or retirement…or becoming a full time caretaker of a loved one.

It’s hard to feel like you aren’t seen anymore, that what you do doesn’t matter.

Recently I started meditating on Ecclesiastes. King David’s son, Solomon, is trying to make sense of his life and the world around him. In chapter 1:2 he concluded, “Everything is meaningless…complete meaningless!”

Then he lists the futility of chasing money, fame, women, wine, and so on and so on.

But in between all the “this is a meaningless pursuit,” are these statements of what is good and worthwhile. He repeats these statements several times, in different ways, but they all point to the same idea.

In 2:24 he said, “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.”

We read something similar in 3:2 then again in 5:18. “Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.”

I’ve got the “eat and drink” thing down. What I’m trying to learn is to embrace, even enjoy, my lot and my work.

I’m in process…as I sit in my office, alone…wondering if any of this matters.

6 comments (Add your own)

1. Dieula wrote:
Yes, your work matters! Your voice matters! You've already had a great impact. You've let your light shine and you've given us permission to also shine. So eat and drink and perhaps in heaven God will show you the magnitude of your impact...Maybe it won't matter then. Love you sister!!

Mon, July 16, 2012 @ 12:13 PM

2. mutating missionary wrote:
Anonymous a book by Alicia Britt Chole... have you read it? I encourage you to add it to your list if you haven't. yep, I get what you are talking about - but so does Jesus. That whole 30 year under the radar thing :-) You are in good company! Wish we could have actually visited while I was home last year. Maybe next time. Or... you could always come for a visit here in this little southwestern corner of Deutschland. Some girls from CBC come in October for a women's mission trip - so it isn't outside the realm of possibilities.

Lifted you up to the Great God who Sees!

Mon, July 16, 2012 @ 12:58 PM

3. lilly wrote:
Thank you for the post. It was timely and honest in my life.
We are so much a part of this world this minute that "making sure it matters" or "making a difference" is ingrained in us. In this immediacy I want "results" or what's the point of doing it.
Yet we also have a foot in Heaven where nothing of this world is really all that significant. What is significant and worth the effort, the energy, the pain, the boredom when no result is immediate or evident? That's the struggle right ( at least for me). I've been mentally arm wrestling that when I think about the 13th load of laundry, taking time to write something meaningful, having "the talk" with my 11 yr old, setting boundaries for the 5 yr old, working on the relationship with my husband, etc, etc. Thanks again for the post

Mon, July 16, 2012 @ 1:45 PM

4. jackie wrote:

You said it beautifully. I am re-evaluating everything I thought about ministry. Not that what I did before was bad, it was awesome. I just think God is asking for something very new, small, intimate, personal, serious community...from me and those I lead.

This will be the template for the bible study we start in Jan. Small, intimate and personal. I guess God is never finished shaping the clay.

And just know, what you are doing, counts. Ponder what Solomon meant when he said, "eat and drink" along with being content with the work God has given. It's an interesting find. :)

Mon, July 16, 2012 @ 2:23 PM

5. Jennifer wrote:
Jackie thank you for being so honest. Your post encourages me... There are no guarantees for the passion we have or the work we do, no matter how well we blend them together. I can pour love and truth into my children while they are young, but that is not a guarantee that they will return to it when they are grown. My prayer is that they do, but ultimately that decision iis between them and God. Brennan Manning's "Ruthless Trust" comes to mind when my flesh wants them to pray from the heart or even ask questions about God instead of questions about Angry Birds. Patience, Mamma. Patience. Prayers for you, Jackie. For the Holy Spirit to be your inspiration. For peace. For comfort. For a memory of the scent of heaven. And for your ability to hang on to that scent for a very, very long time.

Mon, July 16, 2012 @ 7:52 PM

6. Marijoy wrote:
Seeds are being planted, Jackie.

Fri, July 20, 2012 @ 6:50 PM

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