6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. (John 1:6-8 NIV)
I’ve spent too much time throughout my life trying to be someone I am not. I’ve tried to convince myself that some day I will arrive, some day I’m going to make it. One day I’m going to be somebody special. I’ve tried to convince others that I’m “the big man on campus.” I’ve tried to find my significance in the things that I do. None of those things has ever worked. From my experience in life I’ve learned that I am not alone. Most people are not comfortable in their own skin, just simply being who God made them to be. As a result we become jealous of other’s success, we make snide remarks to try and diminish the significance of other’s accomplishments, and we rob ourselves of a great opportunity–the opportunity to be the best that God has created us to be.
Reading about John encourages me to seek to be everything God has called me to be. Not somebody “special” as the world defines “special.” Not someone that others recognize or revere, just simply be me. John’s purpose in life was to point the way to Jesus. He wasn’t Jesus. He didn’t try to be Jesus. He didn’t let jealousy creep in and lead him to downplay Jesus’ greatness so that he would look better. He knew who he was…he was a messenger called to shine a bright light on Jesus. John was content to be in Jesus’ shadow. We read in Mark’s Gospel, 7 John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am– so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals.” (Mark 1:7 NLT)
If I set my sights on achieving the significance that the world holds before me I will end up empty and frustrated because I’m never going to achieve it. God hasn’t called me to be successful, but He has called me to be faithful–faithful to the call He has placed on my life. I am called to love my family. I am called to faithfully teach God’s Word. I am called to serve all of those that God has placed in my life. I’m called to live in such a way that others see Jesus as they watch me. That is a mission, a calling, that at this point in my life, is far more attractive than all the world has to offer.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will help me to keep my eyes fixed on the purpose You have laid out for my life. Enable me to pursue it with passion and enthusiasm each and every day of my life.