Many of us often wonder what our true calling might be and whether it be to the marketplace, education, arts and entertainment, the sciences, law or politics, or something else. We ponder what it is we can bring to the world, something that is uniquely “us”. We ask the questions “what difference can I make?”, “Am I significant?”, “When it’s all said and done, will my life have counted for something?”
One of my favorite scriptures gives us some insight as a starting point for answering these questions:
Let me tell you why you’re here, You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth…14 Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. Matthew 5:13-14 (Message)
This scripture conveys two rich metaphors -- of salt bringing out God flavors – and light, bringing out God colors in the world. When you think about it, there are INFINITE flavors and colors – and our task is to uniquely reveal some piece of those infinite ranges. The options really are endless.
Said another way, each of us is necessary if we’re going to reveal the entire palette of God’s colors and the entire range of all God’s flavors! That’s great news, for it’s an assurance that there is a unique story that we each get to convey with our lives – a story that is part of God’s larger story. Each individual story is important, no matter how different or unconventional it might be.
Many of us struggle with discovering our story, or understanding the significance of our story. Society tells us that in order to be successful, x, y or z has to occur. One of the common notions that culture suggests is that we have to be front and center. We have to be the star. But this is not what God is telling us. Just like one dish is composed of multiple ingredients and flavors, the same can be said of your life in relation to those around you. Just because you aren’t the pasta of the dish, doesn’t mean that your small amount of oregano isn’t essential in making the dish sing. We are all integral parts of a bigger entrée, ultimately making it taste great! In the same way, a painting has both soft and bold colors -- and each are essential in creating the masterpiece, conveying its beauty and message to the viewer.
So how do you become salt and light, giving expression to your unique role in revealing God’s flavors and colors to the world around you? One of the key ways you can do it is through the act of risk taking! God is constantly speaking to us and inviting us to take risks, ranging from small & simple, to looming and large! He’s asking us to get outside our comfort zones. As we do, we become salt and light. Our stories gain depth and nuance.
Risks are varied and diverse, of course -- saying hello to someone, helping a neighbor you don’t know too well, asking for a promotion, taking a new job, moving across the country, going back to school, making a call to a relative, resolving a conflict with a co-worker, and the list goes on. And God’s invitation to risk for you is going to look different than his invitation to someone else.
We can’t expect to fully be salt and light without first stepping out in faith, and taking steps of risk toward who and what we are meant to become. This might feel daunting at times, but remember: God has promised us that we are all salt and light, and what we have to bring to the table is indeed enough. Not only is it enough, it is essential!
I want to encourage each of you that through risk, your personal story can come alive! Through risk, you become an expression of salt and light to the world around you. Through risk, you can step into and align with God’s far bigger story!