Two year’s after graduating college, I found myself working a temp job where I took stacks of paper out of folders and put them in new folders just so they could be filed back on their original shelf It felt like a soulless corporate job in the depths of a mindless organization that had no idea what to do with its excess yearly revenue. My heart ached for something more. I felt like God had better plans for my life, and I was growing bitter that he wasn’t helping me achieve great things.
As men, I think that we have a biological yearning to accomplish things. We want to feel strong. We desire to feel capable. We need to feel successful. Even years after quitting my temp job and finding a career that I love, I still feel that yearning for something more. I believe this is a good thing, and it is an example of how we were created in the image of a powerful God. Unfortunately, when our life crashes into a sinful world we often don’t feel successful, and we lose perspective on the work God has done in our lives.
One of my friends recently told me something that has stuck with me. He described our lives as tiny grapes. Grapes are fine, but God is trying to turn us into wine. And in that process we have to be crushed and turned into juice. The problem with our perspective is that we don’t see how God uses the trials and circumstances in our life that “crush” us to turn us into something better. We simply feel crushed.
In moments like these I think it’s worth modeling the apostle Paul, who in Philippians 4 said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
As men, we often feel the pull to accomplish great things. God placed that desire in your heart and it should not be ignored, but in the same breath, we should also remember that Jesus has already achieved the “great thing” in our lives. We need not fear a claustrophobic world that presses down on us and endangers our dreams. We need not fear the toils of work and relationships that press us into a juicy mess. God uses all these things to bring us closer to Him.