Is this the life I want?


Several years ago, an official came to our home to interview my husband and me. The official asked us dozens and dozens of questions. All centered on our son. The gentleman asked personal questions related to finances, relationships, and character qualities.

Contracted by the Air Force, our interviewer had a prescribed agenda as part of the screening process for our son’s military security clearance. We were asked all the questions on the list the Air Force gave him, even if the question made him or us uncomfortable. He asked only the questions he was given; he didn’t insert things he might be curious about.

He was there to do, and only do, what the Air Force had hired him for.

How does this apply to the Christian life? What has God put us here to do?

You’ve probably heard answers such as to glorify God, to spread the Gospel, or to love others. Two words probably summarize it all—serving and loving.

Occasionally, after a demanding day (like yesterday), I wonder, “Is this the life I want?”

In some ways, it’s not. I may chafe against my physical limitations with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ongoing loss of vision. I often slog through responsibilities I wish I didn’t have, but are mine anyway.

After the little pity party breaks up, I remember that many things in my life are satisfying. An awesome husband, a wonderful son and his family, comfortable surroundings, the beauty of southwest Michigan, and that I can still walk after living with RA for 47 years. And this is all in addition to belonging to Jesus.

Did Jesus ever entertain the question, “Is this the life I want?”

Yesterday I meditated on John 6:39: “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” As I considered this verse, uppermost in my mind was the previous verse, John 6:38: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

Jesus is clear. He was sent by God. He was acting on behalf of God. Period.

He didn’t think about the life He wanted. Boat rides on the Sea of Galilee, leisurely meals with friends, hikes up mountains—enjoying the things He created—were not His primary goal. He certainly enjoyed these and more as part of his ministry. But He was laser focused.

I felt convicted. As a representative of the Living God in this world, I, too, need to be laser focused on serving and loving. There’s too much of ‘What do I want?’ in my thinking and not enough of ‘Lord, what do You want?’

Will I be a faithful representative of God, as the Air Force interviewer was or will I insert my own agenda? Yes, we need times of rest, times of refreshment. But the bottom line is: Who is in charge—me or God?

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