Do I Have Any Value? How Do I know?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
20 Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— 21 may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)
345 What a great discovery! Something you barely half-understood turned out to be very clear when you had to explain it to others. You had to speak very gently with someone, who was disheartened because he felt useless and did not want to be a burden to anyone… You understood then, better than ever, why I always talk to you about being little donkeys turning the water-wheel: carrying on faithfully, with large blinkers which prevent us personally seeing or tasting the results—the flowers, the fruit, the freshness of the garden—confident about the effectiveness of our fidelity. (1)
There are days in our lives when we wonder if what we do has any meaning. What we are questioning is our worth as individuals. Do we mean anything to anyone?
I’ve been there, and I’ve been there when others are asking those questions. Some of these people are older, people near 100 years old who live in retirement homes; some are a little younger, those trying to make the adjustment to retirement, as they have spent 40-60 years of defining themselves according to what they do. Some asking the question are younger, the 11-15-year-old, or 20-25-year-old who is not sure what to make our of their lives.
Pastor’s aren’t immune either. Especially those of us who know that the church doesn’t depend on us for our brilliance, our steadfastness, even our gifts, and abilities.
The church existed before us; it will be long after we have gone.
I have to admit, I am tempted to measure my value as a pastor. (For me that is measuring my value as a person as well) It isn’t about numbers in church; it is more the comments and questions I get from the sermon, or in Bible class. It is the way people call on me to remind them that God is with them.
My question – do people know, trust in and depend on Jesus more, because I am here. This goes for this blog as well, though I admit that I look at the numbers of hits and comments here! But the question remains, “will people call out to God for help, will they turn to Him and realize they dwell in Him.”
The question helps me keep focused in ministry. And the few times I do get a response, it lifts me considerably. I hate to admit it, but I need that encouragement. As do elders, and all church staff, whether volunteer or professional, ordained, commissioned or lay person. I don’t have to measure how effective, as much as doing what we are called and put in place to do.
So how do we know we have value? How do we know if we truly have any meaning?
We can’t evaluate it. As with St. Josemaria’s donkey, I can’t say know what benefit I have given to this world, to my community, or even to my family. It’s beyond my ability to measure.
That’s okay. It’s not my job to judge. Which is a good thing, because the person responsible for the quality, the worth of what I do, isn’t me. My worth comes from the fact that He works on us, in us, through us. That is why St. Josemaria can discuss the confidence about our effectiveness as we trust and have faith in the God who created us to be masterpieces.
That is ultimately our key, to stop trying to worry about our worth, knowing that is in the hands of the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1604-1609). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.