For over fifty years, I have spent a lot of my life in service to the Lord. I’m rather proud of my efforts and accomplishments. And therein lies the problem.
I’m at a stage where I’m not as active as I used to be for various reasons. After all, I’m knocking on Seventy’s door. But I’m not satisfied with my current contributions to the Kingdom. I know I shouldn’t compare myself with others since my gifts and calling are mine alone. However, I’m struggling with comparing myself with myself. I’m finding the young Dottie to be a hard act to follow.
But listen to me! Do you hear that arrogance coming through? Maybe that’s a harsh word, but it’s too easy to let a healthy sense of achievement turn into conceit.
On the other hand, I shouldn’t go to the other extreme, being unhappy with my life’s journey. It wasn’t perfect by a long shot. There are areas I wish had been different, but it is what it is. Taking a broad view of the decades, the very best parts have mostly had to do with my faith and spiritual growth. And that’s all by the grace of God, not by my efforts.
My morning audio devotional, The Seedbed Daily Text, has recently been exploring Elijah’s experiences from I Kings 19. He certainly had his ups and downs. God asks him, “What are you doing here?” What I’ve heard for myself is in each of our changing seasons, we listen for the Word of the Lord. He’s with us every step of the way and ready to meet our needs. He doesn’t owe us anything for our efforts, but we owe him everything. Not that we can ever repay God, but that is why we serve him. It’s about love and gratitude.
We live whole lives, not what seems like disjointed parts. If we’ve made Jesus Lord of our lives, he is Lord over all of it. Every single part of it. Through all our seasons. And he’s not finished with us until we draw our final breath.
When I led group therapy sessions, one of the exercises was to analyze fifteen parts of our life. It could be from a current perspective or a review of our lives up to this point. It could also be used to set goals for the next steps. It helps us answer God’s question, “What are you doing here?”
I’m doing this again for myself, but I invite you to look at my chart. See where you stand in each of the fifteen sections. What has each of the fifteen sections looked like for you over the decades? What’s happening with each one now? Where are you going? What are your next steps? Where is God active in your life, and where do you need his intervention or direction?
PARTS OF MY LIFE
|Home Responsibilities||Children/Family Life||Marriage/Primary Relationship|
|Extended Family||Church Life||Friends|
|Service/Giving/Outreach||Personal Spiritual Life/Relationship to God||What I do for Fun|
|Work/Employment||Personal Growth/Improvement||Self-care Efforts (Health, Hygiene, Exercise, Nutrition, etc.)|
|Community Involvement||My Imagination, Hopes, Dreams, Goals||What I do to Relax, Chill Out, Manage Stress, and Feel Better|
So, I ask you, “What are you doing here?”
With blessings for you on your journey,