Imagine the best moment of your life so far. Chances are, you were doing something you loved while in the company of friends, family or both. It’s funny how the defining of that, “best moment” changes as we make our way through life. I remember when I was about 13 years old I started writing short mystery stories along the lines of, “The Hardy Boys”, and “Nancy Drew” fare. Of course, at 13 years old, my stories were pretty juvenile but I loved writing them. What elevated that experience to a “best moment” status was how impressed my father was with them. I was doing something I loved to do and it was appreciated by someone I cared about.
Fast forward a few years and I’m a new teacher at a new school in the strange land of Nashville, Tn. I’m handed a drama class as part of my load and on a whim and a prayer I begin a ministry called Adventist Christian Theatre. Initially it’s only supposed to do a few programs at local churches and be something fun for the students to do. At the end of our second year, in 1994, I’m standing on a stage in complete shock and awe as I watch scores of teens and adults crowd our stage in response to a call to come to the cross. That experience will be repeated countless times on stages across America as A.C.T. becomes something far greater than anything I could have ever imagined. And every single time, every call, I had the, “best moment of my life” feeling as I was doing something I loved and it made a difference to the world around me.
Fast forward again to last night. It was the Friday evening culmination of our Week of Prayer here at the academy. I had decorated the room, hung the lights and set the stage, the only thing I was missing was my Week of Prayer guest speaker! I said a quick prayer for some kind of idea as what to do, and then proceeded to try to kill time by acting like I had a plan all along. I grabbed some kids from the audience and we played a few rounds of group charades. I chose three scenes from the life of Jesus. In the middle of the game the thought came to me to use the game as a springboard to talk about Peter, Judas and Jesus. I didn’t take time to think about anything, I just started talking…25 minutes later I finished with a room full of teens ready to follow Peter in running to Jesus. I walked away wondering what had happened, what had come over me and why. You would think the overriding emotion I would have felt was joy or at least happiness, but I was genuinely distressed. Let me tell you why.
It was a “best moment” because, for about 25 minutes, I felt like I was doing something I loved (talking to teens) it was making a difference and felt like it was what I was meant to be doing–like God and me were on the same page finally and I was living His will for me. And it made me feel sad. Sad because my first thought was, why isn’t everyday like this? Why are these moments when I feel the energy of the Holy Spirit, the conviction of God’s leading and the power of His promises pulsing through the heart of my life so few and far between? I immediately dismissed the idea as unrealistic and impractical. No one lives on “mountaintop” experiences, we exist in the valley of humanity, right?
I shared this with Miranda when I got home, and in her gentle but wise and understanding way she replied back to me, “What are you stupid, of course it can be.” I took a moment to reflect on her postulation and we discussed it for a bit. She had recently read a book called, “Practicing The Presence of God” in which a monk had dedicated himself to consistently focus his thoughts on God. Not just memorizing and repeating Bible verses, but focusing on the reality that God was present with him always, no matter what great or mundane task he was doing. Be it preaching to the masses or making up his bed, He focused on the reality that God was right there with Him. That made sense to me and here’s why.
Heaven, I believe, will be a place of eternal joy because of three simple things: 1. We will live constantly in the eternal presence of God. 2. We will be doing something we love to do. 3. What we do will make a difference.
I believe we will all have “jobs” or tasks if you will in eternity. Whatever the responsibility given to us is, it will be something we love to do and God has gifted us talents to do like no one else can. We will be doing something we love to do, are good at, and makes the universe a better place. Life doesn’t get any better than that.
Then, as most of God’s lessons do, the truth of this kicked me in the head–I can be living that life right now, I don’t have to wait for the employment office of eternity. God has a job for me and you to do right now. It’s pretty good chances that whatever talents He has given you coincide with things you love to do. The only missing third piece is how to you use those gifts and work to make the world around you a better place. When you can find that niche, that unique spot only you were meant to fill, then I believe we all can say at the end of each and every day, this was one of the best moments of my life.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10