February 25, 2008

Secret Service I turned 30 today. I feel like my soul has aged so much this past year, I’ve been waiting for my age to catch up. Through all the unexpected turns and difficult roads we’ve traveled on, the last year and a half have become moments of intense learning. One lesson fresh on my mind as I begin my thirties is on the desire to make a difference. When I wrote about making a difference with our lives in Butterfly in Brazil I concluded that for all the small, local, and gradual change we give our lives to, success by Heaven’s yardstick is all about obedience to God. I am beginning to understand not only how true that is, but how that truth ought to change my approach to service. Here is the gut-level question: is my service really about my fulfillment? In other words, do I serve so I can feel like I am significant, accomplishing my destiny, doing what I was made to do? Is my service driven by a sense of my purpose in life? If that feels uncomfortable and you find yourself reaching for denial, consider how obsessed we are with discovering our strengths, mapping out our personalities, and identifying our spiritual gifts. I have done all of that. And I have found it very helpful. It’s helped me work better and in more healthy way with others. But those self-discoveries can wrongfully become the thing that drives my desire to serve. I can find myself wanting to serve in a certain arena because it maximizes my spiritual potential. What’s more subtle than the desire to serve as a means of achieving self-actualization is the infatuation with “making a difference.” David Goetz in his insightful and satirizing book Death by Suburb warns of this approach. If we...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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