Tell me, do you like a dog that won’t leave you alone? He pokes you, prods you, jumps on you, and makes you stumble when you try to walk. “Pay attention!” He seems to be crying. “I’m here.”
(An unspiritual person might give him a little kick with the command, “Get out of here.” I’m not saying that’s what I would do. I’m just telling you what unspiritual people might do).
Gnats and horseflies are like that, too. They buzz. They land on you. They command your attention when you want to think about something else. Actually, I doubt that a horsefly is trying to attract your attention. He likes your sweaty neck and salivates with the idea of sinking his greedy teeth into your soft flesh.
Kind of a Vampire Lite.
Some people in your life demand attention like a needy puppy. They call constantly. They cry. They’re depressed. They want you to like them and pay attention to them. No, they demand you like them and pay attention to them.
They want to feel like they are valuable to someone.
One of the biggest needs of each human is the conviction that his life has meaning.
Significance. My life has to count for something. Who wants to be simply one of seven billion toad frogs who lived and died and made no ripples in the pond?
A lot of us feel we would make ripples if we were known, or appreciated, or celebrated…or rich even.
But that doesn’t happen to everyone. There’s only room “at the top” for a small number. If everyone is a star, no one is a star. American Idol is a good illustration of this. Sure, one or two great talents are still to be discovered, but those early tryouts for the TV show expose most of us as wailers and wannabes.
So, are the rest of us condemned to insignificance?
Let’s approach the question like this. Would you think that your life had importance if the President closely followed your every move? If he knew all about you and he felt you were about the finest thing that ever walked on two feet?
I’ll do even better than that? What if you were that important to Almighty God and you discovered that He’d made you for a task that only you could do?
“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.” (Eph. 1: 4, The Message)
God’s attention isn’t limited big shots. He especially likes ‘little shots.’
Jeremiah was probably a teenager when God spoke to him. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV)
Honestly, little shots probably make the most impact in the world. Think a minute. What three people have most impacted your life?
I’ll bet most of us didn’t say, “President So and So” or “Television Preacher So and So”.
Mama, Daddy, Grandma, best friend, or someone close to us are more likely answers. Our life can have significance simply by touching others that we interact with each day.
My life was powerfully impacted by a little lady who never finished high school. She lived in a country village next to a dirt road for a good part of her life. But, my grandmother sure made a difference for me. A pastor, an interested uncle, my brother—all of these changed me.
If our significance in life comes when thousands sing our praises, most of us are going to go through life unsung and frustrated.
But, if our joy comes from doing what God put us here to do, big or small, we’ll live with the sense that our life counts for something. Sometimes the difference we make in one life can change the world.
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb… Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you. The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” (Ps. 139:13, 16, The Message)
I know you’re busy but could you stop just one minute and read all of Psalm 139? If you ever doubt that your life is important just consider what God, Himself, says in this word to us.
Today’s Podcast: The Frozen Parrot and the Law of God
Have a think…
The physicist Niels Bohr once said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”