“”It is not the job that determines the worth and impact,
rather the heart of the person approaching and executing the task.”
— Jean Fleming
A close friend shared this quote with me today.
I fell in love with it the first time I read it.
What eternal, helpful truth is wrapped in this twenty-two word sentence.
I long to daily make an impact on the world, yet sometimes I feel trapped on my family room couch, chained all day to a computer screen or video phone during the hours that are devoted to my employer. After hours I can feel this same feeling of entrapment when there are other things that need my attention that don’t really advance my life goals (dishes, anyone?).
Maybe you feel trapped inside a cubicle behind a desk. Maybe you, too, feel this ache inside of you to be accomplishing more, to be living your dream instead of trying to climb the corporate ladder that never runs out of rungs.
I firmly believe there’s nothing wrong with dreams. In fact, I think they’re gloriously powerful things, especially if inspired by God. I’ve been a self-proclaimed dreamer all my life and don’t know how to live any other way. Unfortunately, though, as I said before, most of us (including me) still live in a world that involves a full-time job and a part-time dream.
Even if we’re not chasing the American Dream, and not sacrificing our relationship with God and our family on the altar of wealth and prestige, but instead focused on being thankful for – and a good steward of – what God has given us, most of us still live in the tension between our job and our dream.
In the process, a pesky problem occurs:
We oftentimes fail to see that there is eternal worth in everything we do…
…That is, if our heart is in the right place.
That eternal worth may not be felt by anyone else but you. It’s earthly worth and impact may not even be felt for years or centuries to come — if ever. That doesn’t negate the task’s importance, however.
In my own life, I’m learning as we gear up for the ministry to start again that God often chooses to speak to – and if I’m listening, change – me through every task I undertake every day, no matter how small or meaningless in my mind.
Furthermore, He desires to change my heart – not necessarily my daily to-do list – before He’ll allow me to have an impact on others, and therefore live out my dream once more, for His name’s sake.
It’s a lesson I’ve learned in the past but obviously needed to learn again.
He desires to change you, too.
He wants us all to live that life more abundant He has promised for His children (John 10:10).
As my pastor reminded us this weekend, it is His will for us to have true joy no matter our circumstances.
I pray whatever we all face on our plates tomorrow, we ask for the grace to be able to look at our to-do list with fresh eyes, ones steadfastly pointed on our Savior, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
When we fail, because we will, I pray we have the courage to admit it, get back up again and fight for our heart.