I'll never forget seeing The Sound of Music with my family when I was only in the third grade. It was the first movie that my parents took me to see other than The Greatest Story Ever Told. (We were a dedicated Christian family of the 1960s, and movies were not high on our priority list). I was captivated from the first twirl Maria took upon the mountains of Austria to the final song as the family Von Trapp trekked over those same mountains into freedom in Italy. My 8-year-old heart thumped out of my chest as I watched Maria wriggle her way into the hearts of seven rambunctious and undisciplined but extremely musical children.
My love affair with musicals had passionately begun during those early years of my life and has not abated to this day. I can sing the songs of musicals in my sleep and have taught the lyrics of tune after tune to my grandchildren. There is just something about the melodies that come from a grand musical that have the ability to place a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eye.
My sweet granddaughter, Olivia, knows how much I love musicals and several years ago when I was visiting her family in Texas, she wanted to have a "Girl Movie Night" with me. Being the accommodating "Marmee" that I am, I simply couldn't resist. On her watch list for the night was a new musical that had recently become available on DVD. She couldn't wait for the popcorn, the fingernail polish and the grand event of viewing Frozen with her doting grandmother to commence.
As we watched the creative tale unfold, I tried to focus on the setting, the main characters and the scenery. But it was truly the company that I enjoyed to the fullest degree. However, my heart stopped in its middle-aged beating when the melody and lyrics of "For the First Time in Forever" interrupted the otherwise predictable fairytale.
Once the movie was over and Olivia had fallen into the sweet sleep of childhood on my bed, I watched and listened to that particular song, "For the First Time in Forever" over and over. I listened to it with tears falling down my checks, and I quickly committed the lyrics to memory. Yet, it wasn't the lyrics that touched me in such a deep and passionate manner, but the voice of the Holy Spirit that sang a duet with the song of the 21st. century. The Holy Spirit whispered to my discouraged heart, "Carol—you are God's first time in forever!"
You, my friend, are also God's first time in forever, and you are vitally important to the plan of God! You must not allow the culture, your circumstances, your emotions or people to dissuade you otherwise. History would be incomplete without your biography. Forever will never be complete without your personality, and it would be a vacuum minus your gifts. If history were to subtract the imprint of your heart, all of creation would walk away in disappointment.
It only takes one simple sentence to explain definitively why your existence on planet Earth in the first part of the 21st century is so important to the plan of God and to eternity. It is not necessary to consult with the insight of philosophers or to the theories of psychologists to grasp your purpose. You can understand your assignment with one simple sentence: You are here to reveal the story of Jesus!
You are here so He could be here through you. My friend, if you don't reveal Him, who will? If you don't tell the story of Jesus with your life, who will?
If you are not good as He is always good, who will be good? If you are not kind as He is unspeakably kind, who will be kind? If you don't love difficult people as He has loved you, who will do the difficult loving? Your life, dear friend, will only be as significant as your choice to lay down your life and to tell His story. The overriding and driving purpose for your life is to reveal Jesus.
I can assure you that you won't be distracted by comparison if you are captivated by purpose. Your purpose is to reveal the story of Jesus, and no one can do it as you can. You are God's first time in forever.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written 10 books, including The Rooms of a Woman's Heart; Defiant Joy!; Holy Estrogen!; No More Ordinary; Refined; Joy For All Seasons; Let There Be Joy!; Pass the Joy, Please!; Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue; and Stormproof, which released on March 1, 2019. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at carolmcleodministries.com.
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