When it feels like your life is being wasted

October 20, 2020

Want to know one of the most common lies I think our generation tends to believe? Here it is:

I am afraid that where I currently am is all that God has for me. I will never move past this point.

I’m sure this lie wasn’t as powerful earlier where we didn’t use social media to measure one another and we didn’t boil our worth down to trivial things like follower count or views on a video. But now it’s a full fledged war of comparison. 

We truly believe it’s time to silence the lie that where you are is not good enough and wake up to the truth: you are exactly where you need to be. 

If you are in your chair and getting ready to go into a zoom meeting for another day at a job you hate– you are exactly where you need to be.

If you are burping your child and  changing diapers and feeling the lie that you are ‘just a mom’ with no other purpose– you are exactly where you need to be. 

If you are in the first semester of college studying  a course you’re not sure will do anything for your future
– you are exactly where you need to be. 

You are not at a red light. It is not a pause button on your life. 

Now is the time to practice, practice, practice becoming who God needs you to be. 

We are living in a world that loves the preach but not the practice and it seems like we’ve gotten these two actions steps horribly mixed up. 

Just because what you are practicing right now is relatively unseen, it does not mean it doesn’t count. Just because you are not preaching from a stage, or raking in the big salary, or gaining the applause, it does not mean that you are disqualified, discounted, or unimportant to the story. 

When we talk about Moses, we remember him for his biggest act in the story: that time he led a group of people to a land promised to them. 

Those are the largely seen parts of the story that we like to talk about because Moses was front and center at that point. He was at the point in the story where I am sure other people would look up and say to him, “You are living the dream, You have so much favor! I want that!”

But let’s not forget what happened earlier in the story, before the hype. God embedded a mission into the heart of Moses and he went little a berserk.. He assumed (because we are all guilty of this assumption at times) that the vision was for the “right now” and so he took matters into his own hands. He immediately went outside to fulfill his calling and ended up killing a guy.

Oops.

He acted too soon. He barreled past God. 

What followed that murder? Moses was forced into hiding for the next 40 years. There is little said about the 40 years but we know Moses became a shepherd and a father during that time. 

Now I don’t know about you but 40 years feels like a lifetime. I have a hard time waiting a month for something or waiting a week for Amazon to deliver, so spending 40 years doing seemingly ordinary work would feel like a brutal punishment to me. 

Could you imagine the doubt cycling through his mind? Could you imagine the “failure” banter taking place in his brain? I bet it was easy for Moses to believe the lie that his current situation was permanent, that even though his heart yearned to do something great for God he was clearly on the sidelines for the indefinite future. 

But that isn’t how the story ended for Moses. This won’t be how the story ends for you. 

Where Moses might have seen the mundane work of herding sheep, God saw a chance to build greater character in him. Where Moses probably said things like, “I’m just a husband” or “I’m just a dad,” God could clearly attest to the truth He knew ahead of time: this is all a part of your becoming. Not a thing will be wasted.

God is not in the business of wasting time.

He values the seconds, the minutes, and the hours. Whether we see it or not, there is purpose embedded into the daily routines and the mundane tasks. Just because they are not glamorous, does not mean the tasks are not necessary. 

We are the ones who are really good at wasting time. We scroll. We compare. We whine. We complain. We harbor bitterness. We give up too quickly. We lose heart. We lose hope. We can waste hours looking at the lives of other people and wondering, “why doesn’t my life look that way?” I am afraid we are asking the wrong question, we are following a lie that will only lead us into a dead-end road. 

In this unseen time with that job you hate, we dare you to practice. 

In this unseen time where you write songs that no one ever sees, we dare you to keep filling the notebooks.

In this unseen time where there is a flicker of hope and passion in you, we dare you to light the first match and kindle that first flame. 

Just because today doesn’t look how you want it to look, don’t count it as wasted. Every minute counts and God sees it all. 

How you handle the load God has given you for this day will determine what kind of load you’ll have tomorrow.

The truth is this: you won’t be in this place forever. You are not doomed to live out a life of monotony. Your story is not on pause just because the circumstances look different than what you would have chosen for yourself. All of this is necessary. All of this is sacred. 

When Moses finally got to the place where he stepped into the spotlight, the stakes were higher and people were watching. It was because of the unseen work, the years of doing it anyway without the applause, that he was able to be such a rock, completely dependent upon God instead of himself. 

Don’t worry about when it will be your time to be in the front. Invest in the practice. Invest in the practice and train your eyes to see the overflow. 

He’s got you. He sees you. He is with you. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

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