And why doing “nothing” can be the most significant thing I can do.
There is something inside me that yearns to do something big. It drives me to achieve, achieve, achieve. Go, go, go. There’s a drive and a desire for greatness and meaning. I want to be someone that does something significant. This is my “struggle for significance,” and I don’t think I’m alone in it.
The danger of my own “significance”
This struggle can be a good thing. Hard work is good. Being rewarded for that hard work is even better. Setting goals and achieving them is wonderful and to be applauded. But if we were really honest, the root of this struggle for significance is vanity, pride, selfishness, and lust. That insatiable appetite for more. Even if it’s just so others can see that I have more. More titles, prestige, wealth, influence, power, etc.
And herein lies the danger.
This struggle for significance can bring me out of balance in every area of my life. My family can pay for it, my health can suffer because of it, everything can be overrun by this struggle. It can be a powerful force for good but can easily destroy everything if left unchecked.
Keeping it in check
The answer I’ve turned to time and time again to keep this struggle in check is probably an overly simple one. It’s one that comes out of my relationship with Jesus and it has served me well.
I often find myself in prayer asking God, “what do you want me to do?” And more often than not, His response to me is quickly and clearly, “come to me” or “draw near.” To which my frustrated reply is usually something stupid like, “but what do you want me to do?” I mean, doesn’t He know I want something significant to DO?!?
And in an instant I realize that my definition of significance is hallow and empty. My idea of “significant” things to do or accomplish, of success, has strayed far off course from His. It’s me settling for the world when He’s offered me Himself and all His Kingdom.
He has invited me into that which is of the greatest significance! It is my chief purpose: to be in relationship with Him. The greatest thing I can accomplish or do is to truly walk with God.
“Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” -Augustine
His remedy for this restless heart struggling and striving for significance is to do that which my restless, struggling heart see’s as “nothing.” To come to Him. To stop striving at all and instead be still, and to rest in Him.
Come to Him.
He’s all you need.
Related reading from Oswald Chambers: “Coming to Jesus” (My Utmost for His Highest)
Related song from Bethel Worship, “Come To Me” (as feat. on ‘You Make Me Brave’)