Thursday, July 24, 2008

Do I Exist On Purpose?


So I've been reading this book by Donald Miller this week called "To Own A Dragon". And it's all about how Donald grew up without a father. Now I had a father growing up, although in my teenage years I lived with my mom and didn't see my dad as much. Still, I thought "This book is going to give me some great insight into the lives of these people I deal with who have no dad." But I didn't really anticipate it hitting me personally.

Then I get to chapter four.

Donald begins sharing in this chapter how he has felt most of his life like a burden to others. How he pulls out of conversations when they get too personal. How he thinks if people really knew him they'd want to run for the hills. So he has spent most of his life putting on this shell of being charming and interesting and light-hearted, being careful never to reveal too much.

Wow. That hit me personally.

I've always struggled with feelings of insecurity. I can't even exactly tell you why. I've often felt that no one really cares about what I think. I struggle with small talk and standing and having a long conversation. I get this feeling that the other people are just tolerating my blathering out of politeness. And it's not that I don't get a lot of encouragement. It is just something within me that doesn't think I really have something to offer. So I really started identifying with Donald Miller in this area. And then he shared the most remarkable revelation.

He had been reading a book by Dwight Eisenhower about his life and rise to success as a WWII general and eventually the President of the United States. He attributed it all to his parents and their belief that "the world could be fixed of its problems if every child understood the necessity of their existence."

Eisenhower understood that his family couldn't function without him. He was an integral part of that unit. This belief translated to his community as he grew older and to his country after that and eventually to the world. He saw that he was created for a specific purpose and things could not work as they should without him fulfilling that purpose.

I wonder what our lives, our churches, our towns, our world would look like if we all understood that truth. I know for myself I would stop thinking about ME so much and what people thought of ME, and I would start thinking about YOU and what I can do to make YOUR life better.

How about YOU. How would YOUR life look different?

2 comments:

Nathan Stitt said...

Thank you for sharing. I can say that I've never found myself thinking those things when we talk, you're a great friend and I value your opinions very highly. Hopefully we can hang out again soon, preferably over a cup of coffee.

Cody said...

Mark,

I'm very thankful that you have shared that. i find myself thinking the same things you do. such as why are people listening to me? i dont have anything good to say. and small talk, i'm not very good at it. honestly, if i stoped thinking about what other people think of me, so much stress would be relieved.

mark, i personally think very highly of you. and am very... grateful to have you around. you are someone i can come to to talk about almost anything. and i thank you for that. i cannot express how grateful i am to have such people like yourself and David.

my life would be so.. much different if i didnt have such a family as my own and the church. and mark, about making my life better, i believe God has been using you very wisely, and has made my life worth while.