As millennials, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a mindset that says you must be making moves (with digital proof or it never happened) or you aren’t doing anything with your life.
Culture has implemented an unwritten rule: That we must “have a life,” primarily in our single season, and the way by which to have a life is to live according to the world.
If we went by all the suggestions thrown at us through social media, that one friend who seems to have it all together, living their purpose, and not to mention your favorite uncle who doesn’t look a day over 40 with three businesses and a seemingly perfect, well-balanced life, your day might look something like this:
4 AM: Your alarm goes off. Someone said single millionaires wake up before 5 AM. You believe it.
4:02 AM: After psyching yourself out, you reach over and turn your alarm off. You check your phone. Laugh at some memes you received the previous evening. You head to the restroom. You brush your teeth and wash your face. You recite affirmations in the mirror about purpose and wealth.
4:30 AM: You grab your keys and head out the door for your morning run. You throw on your headphones and decide to do some reflecting and worship while you run. After all, a person who doesn’t spend time listening to worship music daily might find themselves without purpose or end up single forever.
5:30 AM: You return home to shower and get dressed for work.
6:30 AM: You check your emails during your commute to the office and squeeze in a devotional about singleness from your Bible app. You want to “maximize” your single season, of course.
8 AM: You stop out for coffee at the cool little shop outside of your job. You take a selfie. You greet the homeless woman outside and hand her your change. You tweet about your good deed. It’ll be a great look for your page.
9 AM: You are in the full throes of your day. You strive to be the best at work even though you feel there’s more for you than your current job. You volunteer for every opportunity at special projects and overtime.
6 PM: You’re headed to church to get ready for the small groups you lead.
7 PM: You’re gearing up for rehearsal…
At 8:30 you’re heading home while on a conference call for your mentorship empowerment group. You must stay busy. You are keeping the brand buzzing, staying involved and making moves.
But is what we’re doing pressing us towards the mark of the high calling? Are we striving for Christ or ourselves? How can we know if we are living out our purpose in excellence and not just doing things in excess to fulfill our ambitions?
Maybe it’s time we learn to be still …
There is something so profound about being still before God. In stillness, we cast down our cares, anxieties, and evil imaginations. A significant component of purpose is the peace that only God can give. This doesn’t mean you will never deal with fear or the desire to do more. It means after prayer and supplication; you acknowledge that your life is not your own and it requires input from the Creator regularly.
Without taking the time to be still before the Lord, we are like runaway trains.
Yes, you can be going somewhere, and even going fast, but without The Conductor, where will we end up? Will we crash? “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is destruction.”
Are we hearing from God?
In this season of your life, it is so important that we exercise hearing from God. This is a tool you will need in every future season of life. When we turn down the noise of our busy lives and all of our busy tasks, God can speak to us and give us clarity and vision. If we are still, it’s so much easier to receive from God.
Being able to hear from God can save so much wasted time and heartache. There was a time I thought the Lord wanted me to begin a project. Why did I think it was Him?
1. Simply put, I had the idea, and He didn’t stop me.
2. It was never something I prayed about specifically, but it was going to be faith-based. How could He refuse? It would be for my (sake) … I mean, His glory.
Long story short, I spent my time, efforts, and too much money on something God had never intended for me to pursue without Him. How do I know?
1. After being still and hearing from Him, in the right season, He expanded and expounded my little idea. It became a fove-dimensional vision versus my one-dimensional vision.
2. All of the resources that were needed to bring this God-given vision to life came together.
3. Many have grown closer to Christ through that project, but on a personal level, the Lord taught me that I needed to hear from Him before I made any moves.
In the prior season, I just wanted something to do. Everyone was doing something. Everyone had a brand. I felt it was time I had a “something” too. Epic fail.
There’s a big difference between when God’s hand is on something and when it’s not. I found that I can’t just squeeze him into my day, I have to make him the basis of my day. This turns into a lifestyle, and that lifestyle transforms into purpose.
Don’t let what you see make you forget what God said …
Whoever said walking in purpose would come without opposition? Once you have quieted yourself and heard from the Lord, then comes the fun part … taking the vision, and running with it in excellence!
2 Timothy 2:4 says, “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits since he aims to please the one who enlisted him.”
To walk out our purpose in excellence, we have to have tunnel vision. We’ve got to drown out comparison traps, meaningless to-do checklists, negative thoughts, and work unto the Lord. The opposition will come, but as we make ourselves and our lives available to God, in our quiet time, He shows us what to expect or gives us peace to prepare us for what comes next.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Single living doesn’t have to be a dodgeball game of tasks we were never meant to carry. Don’t let what you see around you make you forget the promises God made you. There are no quotas to meet in the Kingdom. God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.
Amber Shardé resides in South Florida where she lives and serves the creative community while raising her two young children with her husband Thabo. Driven by a passion to be counter-cultural and advance the Kingdom, she heads up creative organization, House of Bezalel, which uses the arts to reach the unreachable. Amber is also setting up to release her first book and launch the "What We Talkin' 'Bout" podcast as co-host with the fiery CeCe and hone in on what it means to be millennial Kingdom women in the real world. Follow along on IG: @HouseofBezalel