I am convinced that the way we are meant to “give back,” or to love those around us can be as vastly different and ever-changing as the sky outside of your window right now. There once was a time when I believed that there was a clear prescription for loving and being loved, with a measuring stick alongside of it to indicate how well I was adhering to Biblical standards. The longer I live, the longer it seems to me that God has a complex, beautiful purpose for various stages in our lives, as well as for the people who surround us at any given time.
If we only look closely at nature, at our children, we can see that his character is one that delights in variation, giving of freedom, and of creativity. While there are ways that he has very clearly taught us to love, he also created us to have certain giftings that may be revealed over time, like seeds which only sprout at certain times of the year or over the lifetime of their germination.
We get to take hold of these gifts, one at a time, and study them as they arrive, determining how and in what ways we might use them for the greater good, for the ones we love. One stage of your life might look one way, while another may look completely different. As the old familiar passage goes, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
With a mind and body that is earth-side, it is difficult to see the breadth of what we are meant to do, how we are meant to offer our lives as a love-offering. At times, we might look at our lives as one standard unit, with one overarching purpose, and if we don’t feel close to that at any given time, we can falter.
Or, we can determine that God must have this one particular role for us to play, and if we do not follow it to the letter, we are failing. It is all too easy to see our lives in this light, and I do not believe it’s a light we were intended to use to see ourselves.
Right now, you might be keeping a home that is suitable for growing and living life in, helping to provide much needed stability. You might be alongside coworkers who need your consistent spirit of kindness or openness to see that there is goodness in the workplace. You might be in a time of healing or waiting in the darkness, figuring out what it means to be kind to yourself in order to have the capacity to love others. Without these various times and seasons, the ultimate purpose of your life would not be able to reach its end.
So, have peace in knowing where you are is necessary, and it’s not all there is. There’s more to be seen and experienced and learned, every day, which will bring us closer to our Creator and to our loved ones, day after day in this new year. And just as the sky has moments of beauty, and darkness, and new-dawn light, so will your life continue to look to a God who takes great pride in who you are becoming.
About the Author:
Morgan is a mom and special education teacher in Huntsville, Alabama. She loves to write about motherhood and the hard stuff of life as a way to pause and make sense of the fast-moving world around her. Being in nature, baking (and eating) sweets, reading, hanging out with her two boys, and cozy blankets bring her life.
Connect with Morgan:
Her children’s book, “It’s Always Been You,” is available online: https://www.amazon.com/Its-Always-Been-Morgan-Burke/dp/1736095706.