A birthday is a great day to reflect on life.
I am so grateful. So grateful for my parents, my brother, my extended family, my childhood, my education, my opportunities in life, my health, my friends, my wife, my children, my experiences, my church families, my responsibilities, my co-workers, my career, my calling, and so much more. I have been so blessed! I am so grateful!
When I am overwhelmed with gratitude, I always think of Jesus’ words:
“To much is given, much is required.”
I wrestled with what was required of me.
Even still, as a child I had a sense of who God created me to be. You see, I was born the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the day before Andy Kaufman (which also happens to be the same birthday as Jim Carey).
I was not exactly sure what that meant but some sort of advocate for others and making others laugh.
For me, I found my calling in my 20s. There was a lot of trial and error. A lot of interacting with others. A lot of false starts. A lot of reflection on uniqueness, strengths, personality, ancestry, and passions. A lot of small acts of obedience making things more and more clear.
After Deborah and I got married, we left the Dallas area to help start a church for unchurched people in Seattle.
4 years later, we moved to Los Angeles to serve at a church where people could belong before they believed.
Then in 2010, we moved to Austin where only 13% of us attend church on Sundays and to be a part of Gateway, a church where you can “come as you are.”
In my 30s, I gained even more clarity when writing my book Not Like Me – my
journey in discovering God’s love for all people – even those whom we disagree,
dislike, or differ. In the book, I try to help people of faith love the way Jesus loves and I share humorous stories to open hearts and minds.
I am certainly not quite Dr. King or Andy Kaufman, but I have found my own voice.
I am called by God to advocate for the rights of those who don’t yet believe!
I want to create the space for people to share their struggles and doubts about God.
I want to help people to discover the God who created them and loves them and has a purpose for their life.
I want to help people no matter where they are in their spiritual journey discover a life changing relationship with Jesus.
I have discovered that our purpose in life is to love God and love others.
As we step into loving God and loving others, the more specific purposes for our life become clearer and clearer.
Victor Frankl wrote the following in Man’s Search for Meaning:
“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment….
One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it. As each situation in life represents a challenge to man and presents a problem for him to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
As we serve God and serve others, we find our calling.
Doing the right thing no matter how small it is…
Responding to the still small voice inviting you to do something selfless and courageous…
Pursuing God and trusting His voice…
Believing Jesus that if you lose your life in serving others, you will find your life.
Finding your calling is just as beautiful as the journey to discovering it because along the way we experience the beauty of loving God and loving others.