Last night, Rachel and I were discussing the notion that how a person spends their time really says a lot about that person. Take me for instance: for over a decade, I have spent my free time 1) writing faith-based blogs 2) learning guitar and 3) working out. These pursuits were important to me, and even though they involved a good deal of effort, I enjoyed them. I felt they were worth it.

I really wasn’t doing them for anyone else, either. I wrote blogs because I felt that God was showing me certain things might encourage and equip others. I learned guitar because I wanted to keep music a part of my life as I got older, and challenge my brain. I worked out because I believed that our body is the residence for the Holy Spirit and should be cared for, and because I felt unhealthy and weak when I didn’t.

None of these activities have made me famous, or popular, or helped me earn money. And I have definitely wanted to give up on them over the years because they didn’t seem to matter, didn’t seem to lead to anything meaningful or fruitful. Sometimes, it was like – what is the point? But I guess I just kept coming back to them because they were central to who I am. They were a part of me. Individually and collectively, they are part of my story.

I have definitely wanted to give up my pursuits over the years because they didn’t seem to matter, didn’t seem to lead to anything meaningful or fruitful. Sometimes, it was like – what is the point? But I guess I just kept coming back to them because they were central to who I am. They were a part of me. Individually and collectively, they are part of my story.

You have similar activities in your life that sometimes feel futile or pointless. I don’t know if it’s painting, or singing, or sport or skill you’ve been practicing in your free time. I don’t know if it’s a degree you’re working toward, or a weekly service project you’re deeply invested in. They may not make you famous, and sometimes you may want to give up on them, but I’m here to remind you that they make you who you uniquely are. Don’t focus on measurable outcomes. Don’t obsess about where those activities might have taken other people. Just keep at them because they are part of your story. That in and of itself matters so much.

Want to hear something cool? While Rachel and I were chatting about this, we jointly realized that God had actually used each of those three pursuits to win her heart during the summer camp at which we met – a three-week period in the mountains of North Carolina. Back then when we were getting to know each other, I had offhandedly mentioned that I had a blog. And I texted her the website address, where she was able to catch a glimpse of my heart and passion for the things of God. She also sent the link to her mom as well – who is her best friend and whose opinion about boys was extremely influential – so that helped her parents give me a chance!

Secondly, I was at the camp to teach guitar, and I had the opportunity to play for her an original song I had written – which allowed her to see that I loved music (she had taken many years of piano and voice lessons, and she loved music too). Third, I stayed faithful to work out while at summer camp, and Rachel noticed. In fact, I still have this red tank top that I wore back then, and she always jokes with me about how attracted she was to my “bulging biceps” in that shirt. Hahaha, I’m laughing as I type this out, but that’s what happened! My body caught her eye! (Nope, I can’t believe it either.)

We should stay true to ourselves. We should spend our free time doing what is important to us as unique individuals, not what we assume will lead to popularity and status and wealth. Based on my experience, God remains involved when we do because He sees us being authentic.

Here’s the point: We should stay true to ourselves. We should spend our free time doing what is important to us as unique individuals, not what we assume will lead to popularity and status and wealth. Based on my experience, God remains involved when we do because He sees us being authentic. And it’s very possible that one day, He will use those activities or skills or creative abilities in a life-changing way that will blow your mind when your eyes are opened to see it. Who would have thought I would have met, courted, and landed the love of my life because of three random interests I pursued for many years prior? He works in mysterious ways.

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