Have you ever made something special for someone as a gift? When I was dating my wife, one year for her birthday I gave her a piece of “art” (the use of that term is questionable) – a wooden box with little pictures and bits of paper glued to the inside that had meaning for us in our relationship. It’s not much to look at, but it is very special to us and sits on our dresser to this day.
When she opened that present, she loved it immediately, but the looks I got from the other people in the room were quite interesting. Some had a look that said “What is that?” while others were just plain confused. Even though it didn’t make a lot of sense to others, it was very special to her. Why? Because I made it, and it was made of things places that we’d been, notes we’d written to each other, and things we had seen together. We had a connection to it and it only strengthened our connection to each other.
I was thinking about this recently in preparation for our first baby that will arrive in the summer. It takes time to grow and develop, and all the months of preparation culminate together with the arrival of the little addition to your family. AND, once your child arrives, there are years of teaching, training, feeding, loving and investing in that life – role that really never ends. Our hearts are bonded to what we create, and the things that mean the most take the most time to grow.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to realize that the best thing that I can leave behind is the legacy of investment I make in other people. Yes it’s important that I lead with zeal and passion and faithfulness to the Truth of the gospel, especially as a worship leader. But once a Sunday is over, it’s over. I have a hard time remembering the songs we sang three weeks ago, and I sang them at least six times that week. How much less the people who hear them only once? What people remember more is the way I care for them, remember their name, and help them grow in Christ.
Of course all of this comes from God. God moves in our lives so that he can move through us, all for his glory. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
So my plea to you is this: invest yourself in others. You have so much to offer them and I promise you the reward will be great. Perhaps the reason you don’t feel connected to your work, to your ministry, or to your neighbors (even your family!) is because you aren’t investing fully in them. Maybe you’re just showing up, wondering why things feel so disconnected. The investment of yourself connects you to others, because you are giving them yourself. So give yourself away. I promise you it’s the best you have to offer to the world.