“Smoke, nothing but smoke.
There’s nothing to anything—it’s all smoke.
What’s there to show for a lifetime of work,
a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
One generation goes its way, the next one arrives,
but nothing changes—it’s business as usual for old
The sun comes up and the sun goes down,
then does it again, and again—the same old round.
The wind blows south, the wind blows north.
Around and around and around it blows,
blowing this way, then that—the whirling, erratic wind.
All the rivers flow into the sea,
but the sea never fills up.
The rivers keep flowing to the same old place,
and then start all over and do it again.
Everything’s boring, utterly boring—
no one can find any meaning in it.”
I remember the first time I read those verses many years ago. Honestly, it seemed pretty depressing and hopeless to me. No meaning in anything?
However, at 23 years old, I think I am just beginning to understand. My husband and I were talking yesterday about how interesting it is when God changes your heart. At 17 years old, I moved out here to LA 5 years ago to be an actress. I put all of my hope, joy, and identity in that one word…actress.
But I have quickly learned that if you place your identity in fleeting things in life such as fame, money, or titles that sound validating, life becomes very meaningless very fast. I still have the same desires on my heart…acting and writing…but they are fueled by something much bigger. My passion is not to be a rich and famous actor/blogger/author. It is simply to be a person who shares stories…to be a messenger of hope.
The moment I took my controlling, selfish hands off of my life and said, “Here I am, God. I’m yours. Use me.“, I was prepared to live a life with eternal meaning. I needed to be able to say, “Take all the world, just give me Jesus.”
I remember a few years ago, sitting on the floor of my apartment, crying out to God, and I told him that as much as I loved acting, He could take it away from me forever if I could just have Him.
Since then, God has opened many doors, blessed me beyond measure, and changed my heart for the better. I am still acting, but God knows it’s for Him…it’s for the stories…it’s for the messages I can share and the young women I can reach. It’s not for me, it’s for His kingdom. That’s all that has real meaning.
Aside from careers, I have realized we must find joy in the small things. Our culture is never content…always wanting more, bigger, better. Lately, I have found myself so content with so little…with the simple, beautiful joys that each day is filled with…
Finding the ability to surprise myself, and learn new things…
Learning to laugh more…
Not worrying about the little things…
Seeing God’s hand in so many circumstances…
Having coffee with friends…
Does your life have meaning? Yes. Absolutely. But take a moment today and ask yourself: who am I investing in? What mission am I putting my time and energy into?
Be kingdom-minded. Open your eyes to the needs of others. Choose joy. Seek beauty in the small gifts. Find meaning.