Note to Self . . .

You know Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. That passage begins “To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven  . . .” and follows up with a long list. Including a time to be born, die, plant, uproot, kill, heal, mourn, dance, and so on.

In 1965, The Byrd’s hit song Turn! Turn Turn! featured those lyrics and scriptwriters used part of that passage in the climactic scene at the school board meeting in Footloose.

In your Bible, a few verses later, Solomon follows up on that list with an even more revolutionary idea. He delivers three actions items God has for each of us. A plan for finding your very own sweet spot in life.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.  (Ecclesiastes 3:12–13) 

Did you catch ‘em? All three? God wants us to: Be happy. Do good. Find satisfaction.

That’s right. In your toil, God has a gift for you. He wants you to be satisfied. To discover life-changing activities that only you can do.

The best part is that—as a follower of Christ—you are already equipped for it. God has long been preparing you to have incredible success in your assignment. Ephesians 2:10 expresses it well, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Still, I know you’re wondering, “What is it? What should I do? How can I know it?”

Listen now. God wants you to do stuff that comes easily. If you can dance, dance. If you can write, write. If you can build, build. If you can plant, plant. If you can hug, hug.

Does that sound obvious? Too many people miss this point. They think listening to God and following his plan is bewildering, as if God wants us to be confused. They think working for God is tedious, unfulfilling, and backbreaking, as if God wants us to be miserable.

Why is that? Maybe every interaction they’ve had with God or church has been boring or painful. Maybe they were taught to live in fear of a God who delivers only judgment and wrath. Maybe they think that if something is easy or personally gratifying, it’s not worth doing. Maybe no one ever challenged them to chase their dreams. Worse, maybe their dreams were mocked or written off as impractical.

So, here is your challenge. Do not be one of those people who perpetually sets aside activities you enjoy because you think you’re not worthy or you need to earn the right to be happy. Do not wait any longer for the stars to align before you follow your sweetest dreams. Consider the possibility that you can live in God’s sweet spot this very day.

Remember, you are God’s workmanship. He has been preparing you for specific good works since before you were born. Recognize and believe that what you enjoy—your natural giftedness—is a gift you can give back to God.

In other words, don’t exhaust yourself with sweat and study trying to be good at something you don’t care about. Instead, put your best efforts into something you’re already good at, and take it to the next level.

Consider for a moment people you know—friends or heroes—who excel at what they do. From the outside looking in, it seems like everything they do is effortless. How do they do that? Well, maybe … it’s because they are doing what comes easily to them.

Whether they know it or not, many successful people have discovered the Sweet Spot Bonus. Now it’s your turn.

Open your eyes, heart, mind, and soul to what you already know. Be who you are. Claim your title as the one person in the world uniquely deigned to be you.

Do what you do best. Do it with excellence. And get ready to give the God the glory.

(The above post is mostly an excerpt from The Prayer of Agur from Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House.)

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