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Life+s purpose much more than full resumes, successful careers

March 26, 1997

Life's purpose much more than full resumes, successful careers

The issue:

True success

Her view:

God created humans for more than work and

fulfilling desires.

Michelle Van Rysselberge

Lariat staff writer

From the time children are able to talk, adults ask what they want to be when they 'grow up.' Children learn to believe that life revolves around self and adopt a spirit of independence and control. When they enter school, competition and comparison kicks in and kids acquaint themselves with a caste system to stereotype each other. Students vie for their teacher and peers' approval.

The 'cool' kids are always the first ones picked for teams and asked to be someone's partner in class. The shunned children receive the label 'nerd' and are found in lunchrooms sitting alone or by themselves on playgrounds.

High school and college isn't that different than elementary school. Taller people play the same games on a bigger playground. Some people search for worth and meaning in life through excelling in academics or sports while others look to dating or joining organizations. Holding positions or developing talents and abilities are other channels people opt for in their search for 'somebody' status.

These thoughts stem from issues God is dealing with in my own heart. Since the age of 16, I have focused on filling a resume with a wide-range of extracurricular activities and volunteer experiences, academic accomplishments and impressive internships. Society preaches that resumes, goals, internships and contacts are the keys to success and I believed that lie.

A couple of months ago, God revealed a powerful truth to me: 'Michelle, you find your worth on a piece of paper in a folder in your closet.' That simple, yet powerful, word of truth struck me speechless and opened my blind eyes. I was too busy trying to be 'somebody' in the world's eyes instead of being content with simply being God's.

He said that if I never have another impressive thing to add to my resume - WHO CARES!?

I had been claiming my future as my own and had not yet come to a place where I could say, 'Lord, my life is not my own because Jesus bought me for a price. I give up all my plans and ask that you would dream your dreams for mankind through me. Give me tasks that no one else wants that will impact the eternal Kingdom you are creating. I sign over all rights to my life.'

Why is it so hard to come to this point? Well, it's about as un-American as taking away freedom of speech. The Lord is obviously not an American because He desires for us to be fully dependent on Him and surrender every solitary aspect of our lives to Him alone. Why are people with professional careers perceived as successful, while adults who work for minimum wage are dismissed by the world as 'nobodies?' 1 Samuel 16:7 says, 'The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'

Our hearts speak volumes. Who are we living for -- ourselves or God? Matthew 16:26 cuts to the core issue: 'What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?'

In Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, King Solomon explains, 'I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.'

Apart from Jesus, life is meaningless. God creates humans for more than eating, sleeping, going to school, working, having a family, retiring and dying. He has a higher purpose for them than simply trying to make it through each day.

Last week a woman I know told someone about Jesus for the first time. Afterwards, she said that neither the emotion she felt on her wedding day nor the day her children were born could compare to the pure joy she felt in her heart. This woman found higher purpose in her life and it fulfilled her like no other earthly thing could.

Ultimately, all of the riches, power, good deeds, intellect and relationships on earth will never satisfy the human hunger for relationship with God and participating with Him in things that will impact the Kingdom of God forever.

Jesus paid the price so we can have a personal relationship with God. In that relationship alone can we discover our true worth and reason for being born.

Copyright © 1997 The Lariat

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