by: Gail Armatys
Life Purpose Coach/Facilitator
HeartSong Life Purpose Coaching Center
I’ve talked with several women this week and noticed a running theme to their concerns. They each stated separately, “I don’t feel like I have anything to contribute.” In other words, I’m not good enough. I’m too old. I’m too young. I’m not experienced enough…. those self-sabotaging thoughts that keep us from doing and being what we desire and what God has envisioned for our lives.
Believe it or not, Robin Williams has had something to say about this and it applies directly to your life.
What Will Your Verse Be?
Shortly after Robin Williams’ death, my husband and I watched one of his movies, Dead Poet ‘s Society – a moving, sad, and inspiring film all in one. Not surprisingly, Williams played his role as a college professor the way he did everything – with great vulnerability and therefore great believability.
In one particular classroom scene, his character speaks lines from a poem written by Walt Whitman entitled, O Me! O Life! The piece he shares from the poem includes this phrase…
…That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
And then William’s character directs this question to the boys.
What will your verse be?
I’m not sure what ideas or feelings this phrase conjures up in you, but it reveals to me the brevity of life on earth, an invitation to give, and the opportunity to be intentional about our contribution.
Let’s focus on the last two items. If you are like me, you probably already have a sense of the brief time we have on this earth. All the more reason to hone in on the others.
1. An Invitation to Give
When we read scripture, we notice that God is constantly calling us to serve others. Jesus, our example, actually states this about himself, ‘That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served…’ Matthew 20:28.
But – Jesus also gives the following invitation (or is it a command?) and goes on to tell us the benefit of giving. ‘Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.’ Luke 6:38 MSG
Give…and I’ll get a bonus? I like that concept! I’m not saying we should give for the purpose of receiving (God knows our motives). But, you’ll have to admit this is plus!
All kidding aside, as we mature, we understand that most importantly, lives will be changed because of our contribution. One of those lives is mine. Another is yours.
2. Be Intentional and Find Meaning
There are times when we feel we have nothing to offer – just like the women I mentioned in the beginning of this blog. Please be wary of such feelings. Jesus does not tell us to give when we feel like we have something to contribute.
His command is on one hand specific. Give.
On the other hand, it is general. He provides no time frame or end date. The directive is to give now, later, always. No mention of our feelings.
Our service is to be an ongoing activity. No matter our age, our position in life or our feelings. Oh, how I pray we each know we have something special to contribute. Why else would he have made us all so unique?
If you are not sure what that something special is, keep reading. I provide coaching clues to help guide you. And if you currently are going through a difficult, challenging time please know that it is during these times your contribution is to receive well what others can provide to ease your burden.
3. Vulnerability Equals Believability
Lastly, Robin William’s performances were meaningful and well received by so many because he gave everything he had. He was willing to be vulnerable. It didn’t matter whether he was performing stand-up comedy, creating a science-fiction character on a sit-com, or the lead actor in a film. This willingness to submit caused us to believe in his characters and their significance within the stories.
It’s not so different for us. There is something about our willingness to sacrifice our time and talents that draws others near. Jesus is the ultimate example of such willingness, vulnerability, and contribution. And maybe since he is our example we should….um well, you know.
The Ultimate Questions
Are you willing to accept the invitation, be intentional, and vulnerable?
Do you believe that you were born with an ongoing contribution to make? Do you understand how important you, yes you, and your giving are to others and to your sense of purpose?
The truth is, God created you uniquely, to use your talents and invest your passions in others. When you do, your life will begin to take on new meaning. God designed it this way!
If you are one who doesn’t feel like you have anything to give, don’t let that stop you. Be bold and take a step anyway.
You, my friend, have an ongoing, every day contribution to make – a verse to contribute. What will it be?
Lord, thank you for the gifts and talents you’ve given me – even though sometimes I don’t recognize them. Please open my eyes to see. I know you invite – even command – me to give of myself. Help me humbly submit and be vulnerable where you need me. I know when I do I will find blessing, purpose, and meaning in my life. Thank you for that. In Jesus’ holy and precious name. Amen.
Ask yourself the following questions.
- What personality traits, talents, and passions do I have? This is a clue as to how you might contribute.
- Who is in need around me? What brings tears to my eyes? This is a clue as to where you might contribute.
- Am I willing to be vulnerable to serve others and utilize my God-given gifts at the same time?
- What will my verse be?
Listen to Your HeartSong
Click the Link!
Take My Life/Chris Tomlin
Video Dead Poets Society/Robin Williams
Live the song written on your heart.