I recently started a devotional on the purpose driven life, and it starts out talking about how different people are driven by different things. Some people are driven by anger, some by fear some by materialism and others by the need for approval. Of course when we’re driven by those things we don’t realize it, we can spend our whole lives letting those things be our motivation for life without stopping and realizing we’re headed in the wrong direction. It’s not until you’re headed in the right direction that you look back and wonder what you were thinking.
I did not realize until arriving in Kenya, and not fully until leaving Kenya how much my life was driven by the need for people’s approval. It wasn’t so much the need for everyone to like me or to impress people but really just the need to make everyone else happy, so that they’d be happy with me. I made sure my life was so completely busy that I didn’t have a chance to think about whether or not I was happy. It was nonstop go from morning to night; school, work, church, work out, musical, lessons and meetings. It got to the point where even meeting with friends was more of an appointment to get through so I could meet with the next friend or person that needed my help. I felt like if I could do all those things and still put on a smile then people would think highly of me.
But the thing about being driven by something other than God and fulfilling God’s purpose for your life is that you very quickly get off track. I filled my life with so many things I thought the perfect Christian girl, and daughter would be doing. But really I was going nowhere, I didn’t stop to think what God wanted for me, I didn’t sit still and wait for his answer instead I tried to predict what his answer would be, and I think I wasted a year of my life.
The cool is that, when you are on the right track it’s so obvious. It’s like God is sitting up in heaven laughing at me saying of course this is what I wanted you to do, why didn’t you listen to me a year ago when you asked? And so the more time I spend here in South Africa the more I’m realizing what God wants me to do, because of the fact that although I am here doing work. I have a lot of time to sit and listen to what he’s telling me and even the work I am doing now I know he had planned in order to prepare me for the future he had in store. It’s so cool when you know so clearly what God had planned all along. It gives me a nice sense of peace.
Lesson learned, Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God”