Tonight I watched this video podcast of Rick Warren at the TED Conference in 2006. He is the author of the book, The Purpose Driven Life. At the conference, he was reflecting on his own crisis of purpose in the wake of his book's wild success. He explains his belief that God's intention is for each of us to use our talents and influence to do good.
I really enjoyed listening to Rick's talk. I am a big fan of the book and recommend it often. I've even given a couple as gifts (although Kevin still hasn't read it). Tonight, I was encouraged by Rick's talk. Just like the book always does, this talk sparked something in me that I'm determined to pursue.
At one point he brought up the story of God turning Moses' staff into a snake. [Exodus 4:2]
1 Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"
2 Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?". "A staff," he replied.
3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 "This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers...has appeared to you."
God asked Moses, "What is in your hand?". A simple, wooden staff. Part of Moses' everyday life. Right?
With that staff Moses defeated the magicians of Egypt, stripped Pharaoh of his power, humiliated Egypt's gods and brought Israel out from slavery to freedom*.
Rick went on to ask the audience: What is in your hand?
At that moment, I was holding Mia. She was in my hands.
Q: What do I have that God has given me?
A: My children
And what am I going to do with what God has given me? I don't have the perfect answer for this. But I know that I will work every day to influence my babies by example, by education, by discipline, by unfaltering love...I will influence my babies to make this world a better place. To love the Lord with their whole body so that they might be used by him to be a light in this world.
My children aren't mine just like this world is not mine. But I've been given the great pleasure of helping guide them thru life. They. Are. In. My. hands.
What has God given you? What are you going to do about it?
I'm going to re-read The Purpose Driven Life with this new perspective. I've always read the book with an 'all about me' slant. And that is exactly how I needed to read it at those times in my life. I'm excited about what God will reveal this time? My babies are my passion and part of my purpose in life.
What can do with what has been given to me. I'll keep you posted.
* sentence copied from here