Life is comprised of a sequence of moments. In each there is something to be valued. Sometimes it is what you see, do, or learn. Sometimes it is about who you share the moment with. These moments are linear in time but they fit together like pieces of a puzzle to make up our life experience. What you do and what happens to you does not define who you are. What defines you is, at the end of each moment, who you are bringing glory to.
I find myself having a lot of little moments lately. I’ve been given a gift of knowing how much time I have left to spend time with the people I hold dear to me before I have to depart for 11 months. There are so many times when people suddenly have to move away or pass away and it tears at my heart when I don’t get to properly say “goodbye” or at least “see ya later.”
Rewind to 2012 and you would have found me having a ton of moments that were fueled by frustration, loneliness, and shame. I let those experiences define me and I grew to have disdain for the person I developed into during my college years. When Jesus shed his light of grace and mercy in my life, my experiences became better. I started living for Jesus Christ and I began to have a fruitful life. The best part of this transformation is that the “bad” moments of 2012 are no less valuable than the bountiful “good” moments that I have experienced over the past two years.
The late Maya Angelou articulated it perfectly when she said,
Life is cumulative, and you can’t devalue any type of experience.
I think that this is true about living as a Christian. You may be someone who has recently become a Christian or you may be someone that’s been a Christian your entire life; either way, don’t cheapen any of it. Consider how God has used your life and how it influences His kingdom. Don’t be worried if you find that you bring more glory to yourself than to Jesus- in fact, it’s a beautiful thing! Because now you have a starting line. When I found out that most of my life was bringing glory to myself I prayed through Psalm 139, particularly verses 23 and 24. I want to encourage you to ask God to help you live your life for Him.
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.