In American culture, we are inundated with the continual message that we can be anything that we set our minds to. Example after example is given of people who rose to power, wealth, or fame through the force of their determination. They provide inspiring stories that capture the imagination. We want to claim those stories as our own. We want to aspire; we want to achieve like they did.
I don't want to dash any hopes, but I have to tell you that the message of being anything that we set our minds to is false. I cannot be a basketball star, no matter how much I want to be. The skill of these athletes is developed through practice, but it is also developed from a basic level of talent that I simply do not possess. I can't throw a fastball over home plate at 98 miles per hour, either. For that matter, neither can most of the pitchers in the major leagues. I can't play the trumpet like Winton Marsales. I can't play the cello like Yo-yo Ma. I can't paint like my grandfather did. I can't even cook dinner like my mother.
So what can I do? What can I be? The answers to these questions come from one place. The answers to these questions come from God. God made me. God made you. God made everyone who has ever lived, and everyone who ever will live. God alone knows everything about everyone. The wonderful thing about that is that God made each person unique to handle special issues at specific times. Since God knows why I was made, God holds the key for me to know what I can do and what I can be.
If God knows, why doesn't He tell me? The fact is, He has! God has told me not only what I can be, but what He wants me to be. So why don't I know? Simple. I am not a very good listener. Even when I listen, sometimes I hear some things I don't want. Even when I hear things that I want (or accept the things I don't), sometimes I lack faith; I lack the confidence to do them. When I have enough confidence, doing God's work sometimes takes practice. It always takes persistence. It cannot be done without dedication.
How can I be a better listener for God's will for my life? How can I accept what I am called to do? How can I do it with faith and dedication? There is nothing simple about it, but we have the perfect example to follow. We have Jesus Christ. The last Sunday in the Christian year is called Christ the King Sunday. It celebrates the culmination of Christ's ministry on earth, His victory over sin and death, His invitation for us to enter His kingdom, and His promise to return. It is a story for eternity. For us today it is the story for our future, and it answers our basic questions of what we can do and what we can be. What I can do is serve God. What I can be is a child of God.
Advent and Christmas are coming. They are wonderful seasons, full of "good news of great joy which shall be for all people." Don't let those stories distract us from the joy of Christ's triumph. Don't forget His promise to return. Follow His example of listening, accepting God's will, and acting with confidence on God's plan. Do what you can do. Be who you can be. Know Jesus Christ. Be Christ like. Be Christian.
God bless you--