My mother gave a special gift to me at a very young age, one of the best gifts any mother can give her child. And it all started with a wreck.
When Mom was pregnant with me she had a car accident up in some winding hills in Southern California. She lost control of her 1958 Pontiac Super Chief on a curve–it went off the road and narrowly missed rolling into the canyon below.
The tow truck driver was a friend of the family. His station was just down the street from my parent’s store. He told her, “I don’t know why you didn’t go into that canyon. Someone was looking out for you.”
Mom never forgot that, and she didn’t let me forget it either. As far back as I can remember, Mom instilled a sense of purpose in me. The way she put it was, “God has something for you to do.”
That was her gift. Every time something of significance happened in my life, she’d remind me. Whenever I was doubting or was discouraged, she’d make the point again. Mom had a gift of faith I struggled with sometimes (especially) as a teenager, and she never wavered on this one thing: “God has something for you to do.” Like Beethoven’s Fifth, she repeated the same theme at different times and ways through my life.
That’s also the theme of Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eugene Peterson translates it this way in The Message: “God does both the making and the saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
You and I have a to-do list. It not the kind of list we make for ourselves—lists which so often end up in burnout and stress and bring us to the bottom of canyons of our own making. It’s God’s list, planned for you long ago, designed especially for the gifts He gave you when you were saved, something that will be a blessing to you and of eternal benefit to others.
God has something for you to do, and discovering what it is begins with prayer. Because God has the list, we have to go to Him moment by moment to get it. Miss it for even a day, and you’re missing something special.
If you’re a mom or a dad, I hope you’ll do for your son or your daughter—regardless of their age—what my mom did for me. Point them to their eternal purpose, the one that only Jesus can give them. Let them know that God made them and loves them and waits to show them the best moments of their existence if they will go after Him. Let them see His purpose in you by going after it yourself, and you will leave them a legacy “that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:4).
There is only one Author of Life (Acts 3:15), and only He knows how our stories will be written. To Him, all of our hopes and dreams and ambitions are an open book. With Him, each new chapter holds the expectant promise of something good, because “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” –but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit… (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). May He write what He pleases.