Do you ever feel as if you’ve been slightly cheated out of fame and fortune? Reading the biographies or watching the highlight videos of people discovered at a young age can make you look at your life and think, “What have I accomplished?”
The crazy thing is, many people who made it big didn’t necessarily follow any guidelines to discovery. They were singing on a street corner and someone filmed them, giving them their first break on YouTube. They were walking down the street and someone stopped them, telling them they had a face for TV and handing them their agent card.
Of course, most people work long and hard to get to fame and fortune, but doesn’t it seem as if all we hear is “Follow your dream, never give up, and it can happen to you”?
A shift in focus
Our culture lives and breathes off of people making names for themselves. We have self-help books about making a million dollars before turning 30. There are workshops simply to make connections with people who can give you your big break. Our eyes grow wide when we hear about young people “having it all” even though they didn’t go to college but simply worked off of their business smarts.
As we read, watch and listen to these stories, it’s easy to take a look at how far we have – or have not – come in our own ventures for becoming discovered. This looks different for everyone, but it’s safe to say we all wish we had that big break to put us on the fast track to success with our jobs or even our families.
What if it’s not about becoming discovered, though? What if our main goal in life isn’t about working as hard as we can every day in order to make it big at work or school? Even with Christ at the center of those desires and a goal to “make it big for God and give Him the glory,” maybe our focus is all wrong.
It’s time for a shift in that focus. We need to stop making our first priority about succeeding in work or even with our families. Our first priority should fix not on becoming discovered, but on discovering who we are in Christ.
Faithful in the small things
It sounds a little backwards, doesn’t it? Changing our priority from work or family to ourselves. When thought of like that, it sure does. But when put in perspective, we begin to realize how we will never succeed to the point of feeling satisfied with our work or a perfect family if we haven’t set our eyes first on becoming more like Christ.
We hear the concept of following your dreams and never giving up on yourself. With social media and the Internet, it’s easy to grow lost in attempts to create a name for yourself or to learn how to take all the right steps on the path to success. Somehow, we’ve muddied the waters of seeking first God’s kingdom. We have begun to think if we’re starting our day out with reading the Bible and giving God the glory, then He’ll enable us success in what we do.
But God doesn’t keep a list of how you have succeeded in life, even if you give your success to Him. He doesn’t focus on if you’ve had your big break and thank Him in your acceptance speech. Yes, those things please Him, but He cares more for your discovery of who you are in Him. Then, your actions and success will automatically point to Him, because He’s where you started.
How do we get there? By proving faithful in the small things. By following the promptings of the Holy Spirit when He nudges you to step outside your comfort zone. Or by remaining right where you are, even if where you are doesn’t seem to be going the way you planned.
When we begin faithfully responding in the small, ordinary moments, how we view success will change. And our focus will turn to growing more like the bride of Christ.
Persecution and blessings
Becoming discovered as a wonderful parent who does it all right, an excellent employee with great potential or an artist on the track to making it big are all bonuses. God never promises us discovery. He promises us the desires of our hearts when our focus remains on Him. Sometimes, this means He grants us our current desires. Other times, this means He changes our desires to mimic His. Always, He does what is best for us.
People don’t really talk about the blessings you receive when you follow Christ and place Him above all else in your life. We talk about the trials that will come and the persecution we must prepare for at every turn. And while those things are true, we miss a beautiful aspect of walking faithfully with Jesus.
If we give up our agendas and our goals of becoming discovered in order to follow Christ in the small things and in every area of our lives, He promises to bless us 100 times as much in this age and in the age to come. Yes, He points out persecution as a part of this blessing, but that doesn’t mean we will live miserable lives when we give Him our everything.
Here’s the thing: When we remain faithful in the small promptings, when we set aside our desires to succeed by our own standards, when our focus turns to discovering who we are as the bride of Christ, then our hearts will overflow with blessing and the fulfillment of desire.
This is not the prosperity gospel. This is not the message stating give your life to Jesus and everything will go well with you. Rather, this is the realization that God’s measure of success looks backwards to our world. And when our eyes focus on following Him in each small step, we’ll gaze upon His success: a life that points to the discovery of Christ as the reason we get up in the morning and the reason we push to succeed at what we do.
Let’s Talk About It: Why or why not is giving up “being discovered” worth it in light of God’s blessings?