When You Feel Like There Has to Be More

by | Apr 14, 2016 | Purpose & Identity

“I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

“There has to be more.”

These words echoed in his ears with ever-increasing intensity, invading his daily routine to the depths of his soul.

In years past, he could escape it for days at a time, sometimes even weeks or months. But not anymore. It was there. Always there. Always lurking. Always stirring and never quite satisfied.

Eat. Sleep. Work. Conquer. Repeat. His heart felt like it was stuck. He found himself questioning how his environment—his friends, his community, his circumstances and even his work—might be the cause of his discontentment. And yet this feeling seemed to emanate from deep inside his soul, so deep that it couldn’t possibly be caused by anything external. It was a seed planted when God had knit him together in his mother’s womb. It was a seed longing to sprout and blossom into fruit.

His family was fine; his business was going well. There were issues, but that was normal. He was successful and admired, living the life he’d dreamed of as a young man, and yet he felt unfulfilled. He was successful and comfortable, yet seemingly so insignificant and unsatisfied. The questions lingered.

Is this all there is? What is my purpose? What should I be doing to have the biggest impact? There were as many questions as there were days. The longing for something more was growing more intense. He was a driven man, always able to tackle a problem and conquer the next hill. But this one was getting the best of him. It was so elusive.

He felt ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. He knew and trusted God, but often wondered why his Creator felt so distant and disengaged from the details of his life. Did he need to be more proactive, or should he wait patiently? He did not want to get ahead of God and force things, but the waiting was one degree short of agonizing. He felt so stuck and powerless.

Like gold hidden in a mattress, he felt deeply the weight of unused potential. He wondered if he would ever engage the mission God designed for him. Would he ever have the unique impact he was made for? Those questions haunted him.

It was a morning like any other, with the same old routine. He settled into the rhythm of household chores, breakfast and his walk to the job site. He sighed at the thought of the same old results and another restless day.

Then it happened. He really wasn’t expecting it, but somehow he’d never been more ready. The time had come, and the seed was ready to burst forth into the light of day. The “yes” was as good as spoken before the question was even asked.

The man was Peter, and the catalyzing event was Jesus’ call. As Jesus walked beside the shoreline, his words to Peter, a simple fisherman, were simple and powerful. “Come, follow Me!” (Matt. 4:19). No verbal response was required. “At once [Peter] left [his] nets and followed him” (Matt. 4:20). Peter acted immediately, giving his heart, his head and his hands fully to Jesus. He stepped into the Master’s service with no conditions and no reservations.

There Has to Be More

Do you ever feel like Peter must have felt before he responded to the call of Christ? The same Peter who was a fisherman living in the obscurity of a small rural village. He was a man struggling day by day to provide for his family and make the best of this life, a man who spent the first half of his life unaware that so much more was in store.

We know Peter’s impact downstream of that profound “yes,” but we often forget the years of struggle he may have experienced to prepare him for that day. The story behind the story (or before the story) is always critical. The journey leading up to our “yes” positions us for the surrender that ultimately produces a future of more: more fullness, more abundance and more contentment.

The discontent we feel, the deep conviction that there must be something more, the yearning to live faithfully in God’s calling, these are all seeds planted and watered by God.

Profound questions have been asked by every generation and will continue to be the heart of our most important searching. First, what does it mean to be human? Who are we at a fundamental level? Second, what should we do? What does virtue look like in the realm of action? Third, where is our context, or the position of our best selves? What is the perfect environment to fully release our potential?

If we are to tackle these questions head-on, we must first start with who we are, and that we are uniquely created with a unique identity and design. Who are we created to be? This identity is one we actively discover and participate in activating. Our be or identity overflows into and shapes our mission. What are we made to do? Finally, our “do” requires a context, or a position where it is lived out. Where are we to go? All of these working together lead to the fullness of God’s call on our lives.

Let’s celebrate the idea that there is indeed more and that God wants us to experience it. I’d like to challenge your thinking regarding personal calling, and give you a means for discovering and engaging God’s calling on your life. The BE-DO-GO framework seeks to provide a simple vocabulary and lens to pursue your unique personal calling.

Strategies and plans are important, but don’t miss the often overlooked truth that Jesus changed the world with 12 leaders who surrendered themselves with a “yes” and then embarked on a journey of discovering and engaging their personal calling.

Twelve ordinary men, with convictions to live out their destiny, started the greatest movement in the history of the world. They became leaders who allowed the seed God planted in their soul to sprout, grow, and produce incredible fruit. God desires the same for you, but you have a decision to make. Will you commit to discover your unique calling and engage it as faithfully as you can? {eoa}

Adapted from Todd Wilson’s book, More: Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure (Zondervan, 2016). Used with Permission. 

Todd Wilson the founder and director of Exponential, a national non-profit ministry whose core focus is distributing thought leadership through conferences, books, podcasts, software and small-group learning communities. Visit his website at toddwilson.org.

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