The world tells me I am Somebody with a capital S, that I have to be Somebody. I must be somebody. We live our lives to build a résumé. We tell people who we are by giving them a job title. We talk about making names and leaving legacies, all of it for our own benefit and glory, and we wonder why it leaves our lives shallower than our graves.
We all are tempted to chase the world’s definitions of success and meaning. God knows this, so His first instruction to us is to not have any gods before Him. He knows that without Him the biggest god in our lives will look a lot like the image we see in a mirror. Only when I open God’s Word am I refocused.
I can try to chase my heart’s desire and make a name the world remembers as long as I forget that my heart is so deceitfully wicked that no one can truly know it. (Jeremiah 17:9)
I’m convinced that no hero in the Bible got up in the morning and thought, “I want to be a hero.” No real hero ever sets out to be one. Not only was it not their goal, the thought never entered their minds because most heroic actions involve life-changing pain or danger. Mary had no idea that she was preparing to be the mother of Jesus. She was just living life and loving God. She wasn’t thinking, “I want to be awesome and known around the world for all time.”
David had no idea when he was taking lunch to his brothers on the battlefield that he also was going to save Israel. He was just going through his day and doing what his dad told him to do.
Trace the life of Abraham: He told lies and took shortcuts to achieve what he thought was best, and all along God worked around and through his shortcomings to bless the world. It seems like all the true heroes were reluctant in some way. For even those who launched upon what they knew were gigantic endeavors, it’s like they still innately knew the secret, and the secret is this:
I’ve got nothing. What in the world am I doing here?
That level of humility is the difference in life lived for today and one that redounds to eternity.