If you say “nothing”, then I’ll tell you something right now, you’re lying. Whether we know it or not, we’re all looking for something. And underneath it all, we know what this is.
Meaning. Purpose. Significance.
We all want to matter. We don’t want to be forgotten. Even the people who say they would rather be forgotten, say it because their desire for significance hasn’t been quenched, and life has taught them it never will.
But this search, which Viktor Frankel argued was at the heart of all our journeys, isn’t just a search for meaning, purpose or significance.
All searches for significance are a search for something – or someone – far more important.
They’re a search for God. And beyond that, ourselves.
My desire to be a pastor throughout my 20’s wasn’t a desire to be a pastor. It was a desire to be important. I wanted to be respected and popular, to be seen as wise and authoritative by my peers. And as my peers were Christians, becoming a pastor was the obvious choice.
I also wanted to impress God to earn His approval, support and confidence. So again, becoming a pastor and building a megachurch would be absolutely necessary for this. And to satisfy my own ego.
Except I’m not a pastor. I wasn’t called to be a pastor, I never was. So I moved onto writing – a legitimate gift and calling. I pursued this, confident I did have a gift and certain this was God’s plan for me.
Problem was, I was still trying to impress everyone. God, friends, family, the world. I wanted to be important, better than everyone else, and writing was a sure fire way to do this.
And of course, it didn’t work out as I expected.
God kept nudging me, telling me I didn’t have to earn His love and I was already infinitely valuable. I kept ignoring Him, until the voice got so loud I couldn’t ignore it. And until I failed in a way which humbled me. When my flawless promotion of a book didn’t get anywhere near the traction expected. When friends told me they were concerned at the direction of my writing recently.
I stopped dead in my tracks.
When the dust settled, I saw I had been writing for all the wrong reasons. That the ‘platform building’ courses had drawn me away from the reason I began writing – out of love of the craft, and to help people. They had played on my need to be loved, significant and important, which in turn had impacted my writing.
So I took a blogging sabbatical. I published nothing for three months.
And in my time away, I finally grasped what God had been trying to tell me all along.
I didn’t need to prove my value. I already had infinite value and worth.
I didn’t need to earn anyone’s love, especially God’s. I was already infinitely loved.
Before I’d even breathed a breath. Before I was even aware of myself.
The Love You’ve Always Had
Ultimately, my search for meaning hadn’t been a search for meaning or significance. It had been a search for God, and my identity in Him.
And this is the search we’re all on. Whatever you’re searching for in life, wherever and from whomever you gain meaning, it’s all a quest for God, and for your identity in Him. (go on, tweet that)
Because the secret to discovering true meaning is to understand you already have infinite value and worth.
Realising you have meaning and purpose. Not because of anything you’ve done or ever will do.
Just because you exist.
Your ultimate meaning lies in God, and in who you are in Him.
God has plans for you, yes. He has a purpose for you, yes. But your value, worth and significance doesn’t come even from His plans for you. It comes from the fact you exist.
And that’s all we need. Once we understand this, everything else is just a bonus. A joy. An expression of love. And the tough times seem less fearful, because we know we aren’t alone.
1) Stop trying to find meaning in what you do.
2) Stop trying to prove your value to people. Understand you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone and you won’t ever find meaning just in what you do.
3) Accept you have meaning and purpose already. And that you are already infinitely valuable.
Repeat this to yourself every day. Until it becomes second nature. If you can accept these truths, your life will be completely transformed. You will never be the same again.
Because you’ll know the secret love we’re all looking for.
Are you with me?
Questions For Reflection:
Where do you find meaning? In what do you, or in your divine identity?
How often are you trying to prove yourself? Why do you try to prove yourself?
What would life look like if you stopped trying to prove yourself & accepted you are already infinitely valuable?
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