Summary: A message about allowing God to reveal His plan, His dream for your life to you... don’t ever give up on what God created you for....
Living With My Eyes Open (Vision)
March 14, 2004 Pastor Glenn Newton
In the mid-twentieth century, in Bangkok, Thailand, the government wanted to build a large highway through a village. Yet in the path of the planned road was a Buddhist monastery with a little chapel, so they had to relocate the monastery – including a heavy, 11 foot clay statue of Buddha – to another place. Using a crane, the government workers moved the monastery in sections. When the workers transported the statue of Buddha to the new location and began to lower it into place, however, the clay on the statue started to crumble and fall off.
The people were afraid because this was a precious religious symbol to them, and they didn’t want it to be destroyed. Yet the more the workers tried to place the statue, the more it fell apart until, eventually, all the clay was falling off. Suddenly, the workers stared in amazement because, as the clay fell away, something unexpected was revealed. The statue was pure gold underneath. Before the statue was moved, people thought it was worth about $50,000. Today, that golden Buddha is worth millions and, because of the story behind it, it is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year.
What’s the point of that story? What I want us to take hold of this morning is this…. What we can see is not necessarily what really is. I believe many of us are living as clay vessels when, in reality, we are pure gold inside. Our lives do not reflect who we truly are or what we can be.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Have you ever dreamed about what God might do through you? God is the one who has given us the capacity to dream… in fact, God has placed within each person a vision that is designed to give purpose and meaning to your life. The question for all of us, Am I Following the Plan and Dream that God created me to fulfill? That’s a big question, but it’s one that needs to be answered if we are going to have peace and fulfillment in our lives.
Maybe you can relate to this story….. Last week I was walking into Wal-Mart… now I know you all relate to that part, right? Anyway, I was walking through the door when I saw this little boy getting onto the machine, I think it’s a truck where the kids climb in and feed it quarters and the engine roars and it moves back and forth and the little kids feel like there on their way somewhere in imaginary land. Many of you have feed those machines I’m sure. This little guy was so thrilled.
I did my shopping, probably 20-30 minutes I was inside, when I came out I noticed this little boy was still riding in the truck, Mom said probably for the 20th time, this is the last quarter. As I smiled and walked off I realized something about that little picture of life. There’s a lot of people today that feel like that little boy, and maybe feel like that Mom. They are riding along in life, spending all their time and their money, and their energy…. All their effort trying to get somewhere, but when the day is over, when the ride is over…. Guess what? You realize that you really haven’t went anywhere.
I felt like God was speaking to me directly when I had this thought, “That’s how most people in our world live today, there working hard, there spending a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of effort, but there not really making any real progress in life… there not going anywhere.”
Our world is filled with people who are busy but not feeling effective or sastisfied. They are doing much, expending time and energy, but getting little of value accomplished. Listen to these statistics of American employees:
• Nearly 50% of all US workers feel overwhelmed by a growing number of job tasks and longer working hours.
• 88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life.
• Only 48% of workers aged 35-44 are satisfied with their jobs, down from nearly 61% in 1995. Older workers, aged 55-64, also express a low level of satisfaction. Only about 48% say they are satisfied.
• In all income areas, satisfaction levels have fallen since 1995.
Theses statistics tell us a story, it tells us that a great number of people in the US, and I would imagine in our service today are struggling with job and life satisfaction issues. It’s very disheartening to work hard and not receive satisfaction and fulfillment from your work… right?