If you had asked me when I was 9 years old what I wanted to be when I grew up, baton twirler would have been my top choice. It was the only thing I knew how to do well at that time. As I have become more mature, I realize that the question shouldn’t be, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. The questions should be “What is it that makes you, You? How are you going to let your light shine? What are your gifts and talents? How are you going to shine a light on Christ?”
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells us, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. ” He also says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and hide it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same ways, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
In early times, salt was a precious commodity. It was used for many purposes, including salting food. If Jesus is telling us that we are the salt of the earth, He means that we are meant to season whatever we are sprinkled on. We are meant to complement and highlight the flavor of Christ.
When He says that we are to let our light shine, it means to let our lives be a reflection of Christ. We think the moon (us) lights up the night sky, but it is really the reflection from the sun (Christ) that lights the moon.
In order to know how and where to shine our light we must determine which of the gifts we have been given. As Christians, we have all been given one or more gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discernment, and tongues. There are many online tests you can take if you do not know what your gifts might be.
We go through many stages of life where our gifts may be used in different ways. When my children were small, I primarily used my gifts within my home. I used my gift of encouragement towards my husband and children. You know the saying, “Bloom Where You Are Planted”. I used my gift to encourage friends on the phone. As my children became older, I was able to use my gifts in the community and church. Now that my children are adults, I have come to a new stage where I may use my gifts in new ways that I am not even aware of yet. We don’t always have to be doing something grand and exciting to share our gifts. Sometimes we are able to use those gifts in quiet ways. Ultimately, God can use you where you are to shine your light.
I have had the topic of “What is my life’s purpose?” on my mind for over a week. I started to write about this topic last week but I wasn’t sure I knew how to express it properly. But every where I have looked this week that same theme kept popping up. I did an exercise; please do not confuse this with physical exercise. I mean mental exercise. In this exercise, you take a few sheets of paper, go to a quiet spot, and write the words, “What is the Purpose of my Life?” at the top of the page. From there you are to begin listing what you think your purpose is. You are supposed to keep writing and listing things until you feel a lump in your throat or tears in your eyes. The first 25 things on my list were really lame and I knew they were as I was writing them but I plowed on. Some of the first few were, 1) creative, 2) sewing, 3) caring for others, 4) getting healthy, 5) exercising (get real).
Then as I approached #30 on my list, the tone began to change. “Letting go of falsehoods about myself and not being afraid to be myself all of the time.” Wow, where did that come from? Around #50, my final answer was the one that left me thinking, “This feels like Truth”. My true purpose will not be revealed until I can shed the skin that I am in and step into the light with acceptance of myself with humility and an absence of ego. I can open my mouth and speak truth without fear of judgment. My words will be from God for the purpose of revealing truths that He wants me and others to know.
I was so shocked that this came out of my pen. I thought, “How often do I hide in a safe skin that will cause no controversy or judgment from others?” How might my purpose manifest itself at this stage of my life?
I encourage each of you to reflect on your purpose for the stage of life you are in. Do you feel fulfilled? Maybe you would like to try the writing exercise above. If you do, I would sincerely love to know what comes out of your pen. If we each will let our light shine, then God’s purpose for each us can be accomplished. This will manifest itself into the fulfillment of Spirit.
Peace and Love.
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She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.