Let’s be honest. At some level, most of us have a fear of being under-appreciated, undervalued, overlooked, or insignificant. This is part of the reason why we have blogs (to let the world know our thoughts!) and why Facebook can seem like a never-ending stream of narcissistic self-promotion (Look what I saw today! Look what I can do! Look what I ate for breakfast!). This also explains why there is a never-ending line of people ready to participate in all the “reality” tv shows on now.
In centuries past, one of the biggest fears people had was the fear of going to hell. Now one of our biggest fears is the fear of not being noticed. We are lonely. We are isolated. And we are afraid that this is all there is to life. So we try with all our might to have people recognize us for who we think we are and applaud our self-perceived talents.
And deep down inside, we know this is not right. We know we have more inside of us than what seems to be getting out to the world. We know we were meant for something greater. Why else are superhero movies so popular? Our inner self identifies with the hero and we yearn for the opportunity to rise to the challenge and be a part of something larger than ourselves. We know we were meant for more.
We are meant for more. We do have more to offer. We can be greater.
This is a God-given feeling inside of us. We can try to fill it up with causes, activities, or accumulated wealth, but the reality is that it is a feeling so huge that only the infinitely large God himself can fill it. And when we let God fill that void within us, when we let him erase that fear that we might not amount to anything in this life, he fills us with his own power and mission in the world. It is a mission to radically alter our families, our neighborhoods, our society, our world. It is a battle against the spiritual forces of evil, death and destruction.
God recruits us for a war that has been raging for millennia, sometimes visibly, sometimes hidden behind the scenes, but always active. God bids us to come and fight for the cause to the very end. It is a fight that is waged within our own souls and the souls of those around us. And in this fight, no one is insignificant. Each and every participant is a hero. Each and every participant fights with the very power of God.
And the first battle of the fight is to realize that feelings of insignificance are lies born in the pit of hell. If we didn’t matter, we would not be here. If we had nothing to offer, we would not be alive right now. God uses everyone who is willing to be used by him.
Second, we need to combat the idea that we are isolated and alone. God put billions of people on this planet so we could have real connections and real relationships, so there would be people who truly know us and we truly know them. What we have to offer will never come through a Facebook status update or a blog posting. What we have to offer can only truly be realized among real people who are being real with each other.
This is the church, at least as it is supposed to be. And as it can be.