A few weeks ago, some fine men with whom my son has coached basketball for the last six years organized a party to send him off to college. Christian has grown up with these men on his bench. He’s been both the assistant coach to their coach and the coach to their assistant. They’re good guys and a common acceptance of Jesus as the foundation of each of their lives has always been understood. But they’ve never really talked about it. Just lived it.
At the party, they honored Christian with a sweet video, some very kind speeches, plenty of food, and a giant trophy. Inscribed on the trophy was Ephesians 2:10: For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.
They chose that verse for him and truly, it suits the time he has ahead of him as he transfers and begins his junior year of college away from home. That’s the whole point of education isn’t it? Isn’t our purpose in pursuing knowledge to humbly acknowledge that He crafted us for a specific purpose and He has specific things He wants us to do?
True joy in this life lies in discerning His purpose and living His will. It’s a verse not just for young men in college. It’s a verse for all of us. It’s a verse for living life intentionally, every day.
God created me to be someone. I want to be the person He intended. Not only do I want to live intentionally. I want to live His intention, not mine. In order to live a life of true integrity, I have to be the woman He created me to be, not the woman whom I think I want to be (this woman seems to morph and change all the time), nor the woman I think the world wants. God breathed life into me with a plan just for me. Life is all about becoming.
As we struggle with the insecurities that can come with navigating relationships, we can relinquish our need for approval. Just let it go. God has gifted each of us extraordinarily. We can embrace those gifts with confidence, unapologetically. So, too, we can see how our weaknesses, even our inabilities, are the nudges that push us towards exactly what He envisioned. It’s OK. He’s got this.
Not only has He created us uniquely for His purpose, He has created us in His image. Next time you stand in front of a mirror, look closely. Do you see it? There, in front of you, can you see the brilliance of your Creator? No? Perhaps you can’t readily see it in your own reflection. If you sit in the quiet and put yourself in His presence, can you see it deep within you? Keep looking. It’s there.
We spend so much time in life trying to figure out who we really are, trying on someone else to see if it fits. It doesn’t. It will never work to pursue a false life, never be comfortable to be anything but genuine. True liberation lies in flinging ourselves into God’s perfect plan.It’s incredibly freeing to be whom He intended instead of a poor reflection of someone else’s influence over us. Becoming genuine brings peace.
Blessed John Paul II wrote:
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”
He has good works prepared especially for you, whether you are student on a campus in the mountains of Virginia or a middle-aged mom at her kitchen table. You can only do those works well if you are genuinely, seamlessly, and wholeheartedly the person He created you to be. Be who you are.