What a cemetery taught me
“Do what you love, and love what you do.” This saying is everywhere!
It also seems to be the rally cry of our millennial generation. We get college degrees we love and feel passionate about so that we can get jobs that are fulfilling from day one. Hear me out…I’m as passionate about finding fulfillment in life as the next person, but in recent days, I’ve given this mantra some serious consideration.
Our generation is defined by what we do because what we do is where we put our identity. We want to have degrees and jobs that are purposeful and are making an impact on the world. I do not disagree with this at all! I disagree with the fact that, as a Christian, what I do never defines me.
I have all too often been caught in the trap that if I get the perfect degree (or three) and then get the dream job from the very beginning that I will be happy, and the world will be a better place for my hard work. I have, on occasion, worked myself to death with this mentality.
One day, I was walking through a cemetery (because, yes, I’m weird like that), and I noticed there was not a single headstone that stated anything about the deceased’s job or the impact they made on the world. Instead, they all held some memento of how they had impacted those around them. For a quiet minute I stood there and realized that if I lived to impact the world I may never impact those I love, but if I impacted those I love I may just change the world.
As Christians, we hold a great amount of power and confidence that I often forget. My identity, joy, passion and very life rest in Christ and are untouchable. This was something I did not deserve or earn. Therefore, what I do with my life should be wrapped around the identity of Christ and not my own dreams.
Christ is my fulfillment, not my degrees or my jobs or how many people know me or how many lives I have changed. If Christ chooses to use me to touch others that is for His glory, but for me I will continue to look to Him and find my fulfillment.
One of my favorite quotes speaks to this (in fact it is taped to my desk as I write!):
“We focus on specific actions; God focuses on us. We work from the outside in; God works from the inside out. We try; God transforms.” –Richard Foster
If this post finds you sitting in a class you hate, at your dream job or at a job that feels like it’s headed nowhere, or without a job all together, know that you are not who you ARE because of what you DO.
Learn to BE in the presence of God and in the identity of Christ wherever you are and to DO less for God’s approval because you already have it.