I’ve been working on my official “mission statement” on and off for a few years.
I’ve read business magazines and newspapers since I was a teenager (yes, I’m weird – or maybe I’ve just always been entrepreneurial-minded like my dad), and every few years I tell myself I need my own mission statement. “They” say everyone needs one – even people who aren’t “businesspeople” per se: missionaries, ministry workers, practically everybody.
My latest attempt was last year, after I became a certified wellness coach. A wellness coach certainly needs a mission statement, right?
After a few attempts that were “close” and not too wordy (one of my goals), I decided to let it rest for a while. I knew the right thing would come eventually.
Well, eventually came this morning.
After reading this in my devotional before church …
“Through our cooperation with God’s Spirit who is at work within us, we can grow to the point that what we want aligns with what God wants – our passions and purposes are his passions and purposes; we think, speak, act and relate in a Christlike way. We will never be perfect or without struggle in this life, but we can be inwardly connected to Jesus (see Jn 15:1 – 8). We listen for the Spirit’s guidance. We cultivate our gifts. We live our lives pursuing God’s kingdom interests (see 1Co 10:31 — 11:1).
“But often this isn’t enough for us. We want to know our specific, individual purpose with certainty. We want the mystery solved. We want to find a unique purpose that focuses our energies and convinces us that our life counts.
“Perhaps our feverish search for the specific is misguided. Maybe our need for certainty reflects our addiction to control and what Eugene Peterson calls ‘insiders’ pride.’ God wants us to trust him, and sometimes knowing too much leads to trusting too little. Maybe letting go of the pressure to find our purpose – and instead following hard after God each new day – will center us squarely in the target.” (Emphasis mine.)
– NIV Essentials Study Bible
… and, later, singing a song at church that spoke to me …
To You our hearts are open
Nothing here is hidden
You are our one desire
You alone are holy
Only You are worthy
God, let Your fire fall down
… I knew I had it.
I’ve always wanted my life to count; I want to know that what I’m doing matters for Kingdom good. But today I realized that I don’t have to know every step – every twist and turn in the journey – ahead of time.
It boils down to this:
- God will never lead me down the wrong path.
- If I follow His leading, I’ll stay on the right path.
- If take a wrong turn (like, every single day), He’ll help me to find my way again, if I let Him.
- Trusting Him for each new bit of light as I travel along the path is better than trying to map out my own plan in minute detail.
Knowing this takes the pressure off.
Ever since “bucket lists” became a thing, I’ve resisted. I just haven’t wanted the pressure of having a list of things I want (or “need”) to do before I die. My favorite place is home, I often say. If I have my loved ones around me, some good books and good food, if I’m serving where I need to be serving, if I’m stepping outside my comfort zone and allowing God to grow my character, I’m OK. I don’t need wild adventures and globetrotting tales for a scrapbook. (OK, I would like to climb Ayers Rock in Australia …)
I love the Wayne Watson song “Walk in the Dark.” Here’s the chorus:
I’d rather walk in the dark with Jesus
Than to walk in the light on my own.
I’d rather go through the valley of the shadow with Him
Than to dance on the mountains alone.
I’d rather follow wherever he leads me
Than to go where none before me have gone.
I’d rather walk in the dark with Jesus
Than to walk in the light of my own.
So this morning, singing worship songs in church, with my hand raised in praise of the One who created me, knows me better than I know myself, and will NEVER lead me astray, my mission statement flashed in my mind in an instant – short, sweet and crystal clear:
“To follow God’s leading and help others see the Light.”
Take us out, Wayne: