I have a confession.
An international confession.
It’s a dark secret I really need to share.
Ready? Are you sitting down? Have you braced yourself adequately?
OK, here goes …
When I visited Paris, I went to Euro Disney instead of the Louvre Museum.
Oh the shame. The dirtiness. The cultural horror of my actions and the consequences they bear lo these many years later. In my defense, I was lonely. My traveling companion, Carsten Lotz, had flown home to the States. (If you want to sound cool, you should call America “the States” every now and then.) I was by myself in Paris. And when two American girls I met said they were going to Euro Disney, I said, “I want to know what love is. I want to go to Euro Disney.”
Why? Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them. Not really. That’s a lyric from Taylor Swift. I’m trying to appear more relevant to the millennials.
That’s not exactly what I said, but it was close. Best part? They left me in the train station. I don’t know if “ditched” is how the French would say it, but we were all standing on the platform. I was looking at a Cadbury machine. (The Cadbury Cream Eggs are back in stores by the way. Happy times are here again.) I bought something in the machine, turned around and watched a train leave that they were on.
Stuck in the middle of France at that point, I was like Keanu Reeves in the movie Point Break, I was too far gone to turn back. (I got your back generation X!) So I got on a train by myself and went to Euro Disney, quietly eating big bites of loser chocolate.
Years now, I can laugh about it, but at the time, the whole incident felt like the last thing I wanted to happen on a trip to Europe to “find myself.” Almost a rite of passage at this point, I had gone hoping that in the space between college and first real job I would be able to get some answers about who I am and what I was supposed to do.
Looking back on it though, I realize now there was a pretty clear answer and it’s one that I think a lot of Christians miss. So that’s what I want to share today, a very simple way to figure out what it is you’re designed to do.
Now first and foremost, I need to say that you were made to worship. I believe God hand crafted us to praise him. Whenever friends tells me, “I’m not doing what I was created to do at my day job” I tell them, “You were made to worship and obey God, are you telling me accountants aren’t allowed to do that?” That’s not what I’m talking about.
What I want to discuss is the specific thing you’re gifted with, your talents, your “it” that no one else has. Psalm 103:5 hints at this a little when it says God is the one “who satisfies your desires with good things.”
So the question becomes not what was I created to do, but rather, what are my good things? What is my gift? What is that idea inside me that I’m supposed to be actively expressing?
There are about a billion books that try to get at the heart of this question, but there’s a pretty simple way to look at it and surprisingly enough it involves satan. (Lowercase “s” on purpose because that’s the middle finger of grammar.)
Here’s the thing, we often assume satan has powers similar to God. We might not say it out loud, but sometimes we think satan is all knowing and all powerful and can be everywhere at once. But he can’t. He’s limited in his abilities and because he is, he has to take short cuts. And one of his favorite short cuts is that he only attacks things that matter.
Let me rephrase that, “satan will never attack something that is insignificant.”
He can’t waste time like that. He’s not a shotgun, he’s a sniper rifle and what he laser scopes on are only the things that are going to do tremendous good for the kingdom.
He will never attack my breakdance ministry. He will never thrash about with my painting career or try to sidetrack my pottery mission. Because I stink at those things.
But writing? All day long. He’s going to wail on that, because that’s the thing God has given me. So for years, satan beat on my writing. He attacked it and fought it and tried his best to keep me wrapped up in writing lies and manipulation and using whatever modicum of talent I had to meet girls in chat rooms, instead of writing about grace.
What does that mean for you?
It means if you want to find “your thing” you don’t need a backpack and a Euro Rail pass. You need to just look at your life and find that area that is getting rocked right now. Find the part of your day that satan piñatas. And then look at it again. See if there’s a gift hidden in there. A talent that he’s desperate to conceal.
And then live in that gift. All day long.