(Credit: The Notebook movie)
Although I’ve been a Christian since college, I had always felt vaguely discontent with my life, restless, and feeling like I should do something more… Like I was not enough. Feeling like a failure that I wasn’t doing more for God, going out on missions, giving more to the poor, evangelism, or enrolling in full time ministry. It came with some guilt that I should have amounted to more than this, with all the parenting, opportunities, education that I’d been given. I wasn’t sure that I was living out God’s purpose for my life.
I was praying on my knees about these feelings and complaining to God that I wasn’t sure about the purpose of my life, yet again. But somehow I got to thinking about The Notebook.
It’s a movie made from the popular Nicholas Sparks novel, The Notebook. It details the history of love between Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton, and how they almost lost their love, and found it again, and the conclusion of their great love story. (My husband’s favorite movie–I don’t know why he thinks it’s romantic to die together.) There are no earth-shattering revelations, no herculean endeavors, but just their relationship and their enduring love. These two rather ordinary characters were stars of their love story, which was enough material to fill up a whole 224 page novel and a two hour movie.
I realized that my life doesn’t have to be full of accomplishments…but just a love relationship with God. God is not interested in what I can do for Him, but in how much I love Him. And to the heavenly audience, my love story with God is a mesmerizing novel and a movie. Everything I do is significant, because it’s in the context of this love story. Grocery shopping for the family? Oh Yes! Lights-Camera-Action! I’m a star! Everything I do relates to my love relationship with Jesus. And everything He does for me as well. We have our own Notebook, an eternal love story that is very precious to God.
Then why do I still think it’s about performance? My task-oriented views die hard. But my accomplishments do not mean much outside of a relationship. Just an example as a mother—I do not begrudge the daily menial mothering tasks, because in the context of my relationship with my children–every single meal made, floors swept, etc are vital and meaningful to my children.
The greatest love stories—captivate and mesmerize us, and they are enough. The hero and heroine do not have to save the world, feed the hungry, create the next big thing, or make a zillion dollars. The daily faithful tasks that they do to love each other and serve each other are enough. My Notebook with God is plenty enough for me. I am very grateful that this wonderful love story is the purpose of my life. Who knew that my narrative is my purpose. I rest in that daily.