Significance (noun): the quality of being important
We all want it. Deep in the core of our being we want our choices, our actions, our dreams and desires to count for something—to do something big. We want our lives to be important, to matter and make a difference. Very few people seek to live insignificant lives, right? The quest for significance is part of who we are. It is a God given desire. Often the question we must ask ourselves is where am I looking for my significance?
God created us to live very significant lives. And the drive for significance was given by Him to give us passion to do big things. But there is a twist. While the world would tell us that our quest for significance is fulfilled in the glory we gain for ourselves, God tells us that we are fulfilled only in the glory we gain for Him. Living within the plan God designed for us is the greatest source of fulfillment and pleasure because we are no longer grasping for a wish that can never satisfy. In fact, it can give us greater abandon to seek our dreams because we know that even if they are never met we still have the greatest satisfaction in Christ.
All of these realities convicted me greatly as I began thinking through my tendency towards over-commitment outside of the home. I realized that I had started to view helping my husband, cultivating a love for the home, and a servant-heart within the home as less significant than being on committees, going to events, and helping everyone else. Sadly, I viewed the amount of people viewing my “Christian” endeavors as more meaningful than obedience to my God-given task of helping my husband. Does this mean that we can never do things outside of our homes? Of course not! But it does mean that if we are deriving our fulfillment from things that are going to gain glory for us, then we will be overwhelmed and disappointed every time.
We were made to desire significance. Often the very things that God has given us to do don’t feel very significant: changing diapers, going to work every day, cooking a meal, cleaning a kitchen, wiping noses, or fill in whatever mundane task you are struggling with right now. We don’t often see what the outcome of the ordinary and seemingly insignificant will be until years down the road. But God sees. And he is pleased. He isn’t looking for the next flashy person to do great things in the world’s eyes. He is looking for people like us. People who feel like the normal things aren’t so significant. Oh, but they are. Obedience to our heavenly Father is significant. It shows a lost and dying world that God is so much better than anything else this world has to offer. And it gives us greater joy than any futile grasp for our own glory could ever bring.