Monday, June 28, 2010

Significance, Part 1

I once heard Bill Johnson say that every human being longs live a life of significance. He also said that often, people confuse this with a longing to be famous, or rich, or seen. You don’t need to be on MTV or in People magazine to lead a life of significance.

I wonder sometimes whether I forget this. Recently, I have spent a lot of time bouncing between mulling over and avoiding any consideration of what I am going to do with my life. I am 22 years old, married to a wonderful wife, and am on my way to live on the west side of Michigan because said wonderful wife got offered a wonderful job with a wonderful salary and benefits. What more could a guy want?

And yet, I have this strange feeling that there is something missing. I can’t shake the idea that I have abandoned every dream I’ve ever had. I’ve felt the call to significance my whole life, and I am being to realize that I have no idea what to do with it.

So now I’m sitting here, pondering the question of significance. What makes a life significant? What makes my heart burn with passion? I love Jesus. I love pondering upon him, I love talking about him, I love challenging people’s preconceived notions about him. I love getting my head out of the box and into his reality. I want to challenge and inspire people. I want to spend the rest of my life enjoying him and teaching others to do the same.

But yet, I’m afraid if I give up on screenwriting, I’ll dwindle into insignificance. Do I love screenwriting? Not especially. I do love seeing what is possible, what can be and must be and will be, and I’m afraid I mix that visionary type thought process up with a need to write movies. I get this anxious feeling when I think about what people say about Hollywood and Christians. “You can affect so many people for Christ with the movies you make!” Things like this make me feel like I have to be a screenwriter or I’m letting Jesus down. I don’t think there is anything I could do that would let him down, but when I hear that statement, I forget this. I think it is a play on significance. “Just think of all the people you could effect!”, really just means, “Think of how significant you’d be!” In this sense, pursuing screenwriting would be a great idea; I’d have the problem of significance all figured out.

Sometimes I feel like I’m running away from significance by not wanting to pursue screenwriting, but maybe I’m actually running towards something else. I used to be in a rock’n’roll band, with dreams of making it big and playing in front of 1,000’s of people: true significances. But yet, playing music was never really all that fulfilling. I enjoy strumming my guitar, but it doesn’t fill that void I feel, so why would doing it in front of people change that lack? Sure, it was nice to have people notice you, but “it ain’t Jesus”.

What I really want to do is challenge and inspire people. I have an active imagination; Jesus speaks to me through pictures, almost like little movies scenes in my head. I often wonder if I have simply confused the way Jesus speaks to me with a desire to create movies out of these pictures. I feel Jesus speaking to me, and I want to share it, so I have to make a movie out of it. I wonder if he is calling me to a different way of doing discipleship.

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