“God smiles when you be you.”
The Purpose-Driven Life author Rick Warren spoke these words in 2006 at a TED conference (TED.com) while leading a discussion on our Life’s Purpose. Famous for his penetrating one-liners, Warren left us with several zingers that are worthy of your mind’s rumination. In front of TED’s audience of the world’s influential creative thinkers, Warren boldly declared:
“The purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have no influence.”
Warren relates this to the Biblical leader Moses when God calls him out as a leader. One day the Almightly asks Moses, “What is in your hand?” to which Moses replies, “My staff.” What was the role of Moses’s staff in his life? This piece of wood used to shepherd sheep – and in his case, to shepherd (lead) God’s people – was a representation of Moses’ IDENTITY, his INCOME, and his INFLUENCE. God asked Moses to lay his staff down, to symbolically surrender his occupation, his talents and gifts, the resources God had given him, back to his Maker. And when Mo obeyed, the staff turned into a snake.
In essence, God told Moses that If you lay your staff down, I’ll make it come alive in ways you never dreamed possible. Through Moses’ surrender, God changed the course of history for ETERNITY. His obedience allowed God to transform a simple shepherd’s staff into something new, something extraordinary, something alive! After recanting this story, Warren posed a question:
What are you gonna do with what you’ve been given?
You have been wired to do certain things, and if you want to know what you ought to be doing with your life, you need to look at your unique SHAPE:
So explore this for yourself: What will you do with what He’s so lovingly given you? Your gifts aren’t meant to be self-contained. They’re your opportunity to help others discover true joy in this life, and in the process, your joy will overflow as you lose sight of yourself in giving to others.
As the words of a famous song says, “Love’s not love unless you give it away…”