If you’ve met me for five minutes you’ll know two things:
1) I love to talk.
2) I love to talk fast.
Many words on the synonyms page of the thesaurus entry for “outgoing” have been applied to me. Gregarious. Open. (Hopefully kind.) Definitely unreserved. With many of those traits comes an exhibition of emotion that is usually called dramatic. It’s true. I love to put on a show, tell a story, and hear stories. One of the things I love most about my life is the connections I have with people and the relative ease I have in meeting people and making connections.
It also comes with it’s negative side. When I was younger, I hated being alone or doing things by myself. (I’m happy to say I’ve grown to see the value of alone time and now actually crave it.) I can unintentionally, or intentionally, cut people by being pithy with my words in an attempt to be the most clever person in a group. And I can run people over with all of my energy. While I’ve been called many of the nice things in the thesaurus, I’ve also been on the flip side. An attention hog. Loud. Unrestrained. Trying to weasel in to situations instead of serving on the periphery where I might be more useful.
As I’ve thought about my personality and my life, I’ve sought out other friends who are different from me. They may be quiet, more reserved, content to chat with one, rather than many. But I have found a common theme no matter where the conversation has led. We all want to be someone. We want to be noticed. Maybe not in the same ways, but that desire is in there. And it eats at all of us some way.
However, lately, I’ve been reminded that being somebody… being noticed is not the purpose of my life. How antithetical to everything we’re ever taught. But it’s true.
Consider the words about Jesus in Philippians 2. He didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped. Jesus only revealed Who He was when the time was right. And he didn’t reveal it to people who would have been identified as world changers, or generally civil society. He revealed it to the poor and broken in spirit. Jesus went to those who had been forgotten by society and in His love, reached out to them with the message of who He is. But you know what I love? That outside of the handful of stories that are shared in the Bible, many of the people He touched, He forgave, and saved are rarely mentioned again. What more do we know about the woman whose son Jesus raised from the dead? Or the single leper who came back and thanked Jesus after he was healed? Or the paralytic who was lowered through the house to be healed but first had his sins forgiven? We rarely hear about them, yet their encounters with Jesus are recorded for us to learn of Him, to know His ways. But I think they’re also there to remind us of something else. No matter who we are or where we’ve been, in the grand scheme of all who will be known to the world, we are not known. And yet – we are known. By Him.
As we grow closer to Easter, my thoughts center on these things. The goal of life is not to be someone. To be noticed. To be a celebrity, whether that’s in a Christian circle or secular. Rather the purpose is to know Him and in knowing Him, we are known by the One who created us. That alone should be enough. As I try to grow in life, to figure out how to best walk out what I’ve been given, I must remember I am seen, I am known and I am loved. This life I have been given is my portion from Him and it must be well with me, whether people see it or not.