I recently attended a workshop called “Life Design”. We started the session by choosing just one photo from among the many photos set on the table. The photo you have to choose is the one which defines you at the moment, and it’s a tool to describe yourself without telling where you work or what you do in the workplace. I chose a photo with the setting sun on the horizon. I chose this not just about the fact that I am a nature lover, but it depicts the rising and setting of the sun which is generally about life. And at that moment, I was embarking on a new beginning because of a recent ending.
We experience the rise and fall of our time and yet we continue to evolve and continue our daily routines in life. And life is full of structures and activities we need to fulfill day by day. Time is always running and there’s no way you can stop it. That’s why we always hear other people say to cherish every moment. Grab it or you lose it. Don’t stop achieving. Live the moment. YOLO! At the end of the day, they judge you with performance. How much you have attained and how rich or poor you are now. The most fallible idea I have heard is when they ask you how happy you are. No wonder science and the media have statisticised the number of depressed people in the world. They now put value how happy or lonely people can be. They began to measure the emotions of a person based on their circumstances and lifestyle.
I liked the next activity in the workshop which was values bidding. All participants were given play money of the same amount to bid for the value/s they want and bid for the ownership of that value. Some people bid to the maximum amount to values such as achievement and excellence, to some they bid for security and stability. Others, personal development, or meaningful work, or recognition, or respect from others, or relationships or status. We all hold a value dear to us just like in bidding, we are willing to pay the price. I bid for adventure and excitement, change and variety, creativity, challenge, wisdom and went all out for spirituality.
We all have varied values and these values defined our way of life. Just like the saying you are what you eat, your values speak the same how you design your life. Because the world expects you to be a certain person at a certain time and age, most of us live our lives according to society’s expectations without really weighing in the criterion set by this civilization we live in. And so, our lives have been designed by default. We go by the flow of the current society and we are deemed as failures or freaks or outcasts if we step outside of the norms and mores.
At present, the society expects you to be a graduate of a prestigious university, a man of honor, a woman of accomplishments, a family person, a rich guy, a traveler, a man of many talents, a communicator, a good husband, a dutiful wife. I’m not saying these are bad. In fact, they are all good. But the fact of the matter is they are still lives designed by society. And if we measure success according to money and status then we are basing our design on the wrong parameters.
God has designed our lives, from our physicality, to our hearts, to our souls, to our destiny. He has designed us for a purpose. Isaiah 43:7, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” God will not hold back the good for His people. In fact, He wants us to experience life to the utmost. There is only one criterion He has set, that is, to glorify Him in everything we do. And no matter what you do, if you have achieved success and all these things, but you were not able to give Him the glory but rather exalt yourself rather than Him, then you still failed in life.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Even if you have achieved a little success, even if you just gave a penny to the poor because you have none, even if you just helped someone pick up their things, if you have honored God, then it is more honorable to Him than getting all the millions in the world. If we have honored Him in our relationships, in our workplace, with our wealth and health, with our routines, God is most pleased. Our grateful hearts and praises are sweet incense to Him.
God made life in a simpler design but man chose to complicate it. He only wants to restore our relationship to Him that’s why He sent His Son to redeem us from the fashion of this world. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17.
He designed the cross for salvation not for punishment.
“If you can paint your life, what would it look like? How would you design your life?”