How is my life measured? Is it in how productive I am? How efficient? How well I’m known? How generous or loving I am? Whether or not I’m a blessing to others? I’ve been thinking about this lately.
If I measure my own life, it’s often by the yardstick of how effective I think I have been in living it for Jesus. And, that means I tend to want to see “results.” Do you? I want to believe what I do “counts” somehow…that I please God, and if I’m honest, maybe even others who are watching.
I have always understood following Jesus to be about becoming more and more like him…that should be my standard. To be honest, I have a hard time feeling like I can really measure up. But, did you know, by all human standards of measurement, people who new Jesus and saw him grow up in his home town of Nazareth didn’t think his life was anything worth measuring. They knew him as a kid, and watched him grow up with his brothers and sisters….nothing special in their eyes (Matthew 13:53-58).
Those who thought Jesus’ life was supposed to be about setting up an earthly kingdom to reign as Messiah, and those who saw him as just the kid up the street were both wrong! The measure of Jesus’ life was actually in fulfilling the purpose for which his Father sent him – the sacrifice of his life and resurrection power bringing hope to the world for all time.
During my pondering of these thoughts, something I heard from a life-impacting speaker several years ago at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, Mama Maggie Gobran, came back to me. This diminutive, humble woman said, “It is the moment you die to yourself you discover the best! When one has nothing, God becomes everything.”
And, I’m learning when I’m able to die to myself (which really requires a daily sacrifice) – Luke 9:23), my need to see “results” according to my stilted standard of measurement is quieted. I am better able to focus on just one moment at a time, endeavoring to see each moment, each person, each opportunity through Jesus’ eyes and heart. And then, my own life measure will be about fulfilling my created purpose!– Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist