The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, I was struck by this passage:
"God wants to use you to make a difference in his world. He wants to work through you. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it. Not how long you lived, but how you lived. If you're not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using? Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid. That is quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them in his service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses."
Wow. I saw myself in several of those people. Which misfit are you? What excuse are you using?
I do want to make a difference in this world. I teach my kids, "If you walk into a room, always leave it better than the way you found it." I want to leave this world better than I found it. It wasn't always this way for me though. I used to be content with getting by and minding my own business. Then something began stirring.
Several years ago I answered this call on the Oprah Show: "Looking for courageous people who want to make a difference." I wound up participating in an amazing venture to help a family in my community and was brought back on the show to tell the story. But that was only the beginning. Soon after, I was asked to serve on a board of a local charity, and my first novel, The Spirit of Sweetgrass, was released. I've just released my fifth novel, The Inheritance of Beauty. I'm blessed to meet so many people these days, to teach 165 kids in a school, to speak to organizations, to reach thousands of people through my writing. Before, I was very happy to hide away from the world behind my computer--but my heart changed when I simply asked God to use me. I desire every day now to be used even more by Him.
I have a dear friend recently diagnosed with a degenerative disease. As he finds the disease becoming more debilitating, the one thing he asked me to pray for is that a "highway of opportunity would open up for him for God to use his gifts to make a difference in this world." I am humbled by this giant's faith.
Have you ever asked God to use you? If not, what excuse are you using? I promise, you'll open a floodgate and embark on the greatest adventure Life has to offer.