I have to admit, I am a pretty big American Idol fan. Watching skillful undiscovered talent shine under the pressure of national television and professional judges is pretty amazing. There’s an excitement and a beauty in hearing nervous amateurs sing so powerfully, right on pitch. Many of the singers are from humble beginnings and are not even aware that they have such a marvelous talent. I cheer with them when they find out they’re “going to Hollywood” as their reward for a job well done. It’s a glorious thing to watch.
Similarly, don’t you sometimes sit back in awe as you see professional athletes perform at the top of their game? There’s something very magical about seeing Kobe Bryant fly through the air dunking a basketball, seeing Derek Jeter of the NY Yankees throw with pinpoint ease to first base or watching Jeff Gordon win a Nascar race coming from behind at 185 miles per hour.
In the movie Chariots of Fire (based on a true story) Olympic 400-meter winner Eric Liddell says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
Eric Liddell was an accomplished athlete with a purpose that somehow connected him to God.
For almost her entire life, my wife has had a love for design, beauty, art and decorating. She is now an interior design student and I see her coming alive in new ways. She gets small design jobs from time to time and she’s so naturally good at her work..she doesn’t even realize how good she is. It’s fun seeing her in her element, in her glory.
I’m participating in a men’s small group and part of the curriculum “Battle for Men’s Hearts” discusses the idea of living out the purpose we were intended for….that is…living out the unique glory God intended for us to those around us.
The curriculum says:
“He (God) has chosen you to represent Him in your domain (your day-to-day world), to be his steward in your sphere of influence; that is your honor. You can only represent him (God) effectively as you reveal him (to your world) in the unique way that only you can; this is your glory. (my comments in parenthesis)
I believe, there’s a sort of elemental simplicity to this glory thing. I think it’s found in the small ways you uniquely impact your world every day; for instance:
- You may be a thinker and you like to challenge those around you intellectually in order to help them achieve their best. That’s part of your glory.
- Perhaps you are kind-hearted person and part of your glory is looking people in the eye and saying “I love you” or “Have a wonderful day.”
- Perhaps you’re very naturally organized and part of your glory is helping people find order in life.
- Maybe you are a teacher and your glory is helping kids learn in a very memorable and compelling way.
- Maybe you are a janitor and your bright smile and super clean bathrooms are your glory.
- Perhaps you are a stable, calm type and you bring reason and calmness to a difficult environment – this is your glory.
- Or maybe you live to impact your employees and those around you with humor and joy, that’s part of your glory; it’s the special way you impact and bring life to your world.
Determining what your glory is and what your deep desires are can be easy at times and hard others. God may want to steer you to another desire or area of passion. For many, the transition to something new may be difficult and uncomfortable for some time. If you feel led by God to a new area of passion or you don’t know what yours is, I encourage you to take the necessary time to do the hard work to get there – pray, remain persistent and struggle with God to determine your glory and how to live it out. It’s really important.
When you do get to that place where you express your glory to your world the way God intends…and when you do it to bring honor to Him…you will “feel His pleasure” just like Eric Liddell said. Living out your glory is a beautiful, powerful, magnetic thing for the world to see. I think the attraction we have to people’s glory, that magnetism, is the hand of God pulling people to himself – the maker of all good things. Like us watching Kobe Bryant in awe, others will watch you as you live out your passion and glory.
You may never sing your song on a big-time national stage like American Idol but I can guarantee this…staying true to who you are and living out your glory here on earth will bring smiles and accolades from the God of the universe.
Psalm 8: 4-5 – When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.