Business has never been hard for me. In high school I began reading every copy of Entrepreneur and INC magazine I could find at the library. I started my first online magazine at 18 and it was profitable days after its launch. I sold ad space by walking cold into businesses and walked out with checks.
Later I created a social media management company and handled the social media accounts of prominent author, small businesses, and international companies- companies that had every reason to choose large professional marketing agencies in New York and LA had hired a college dropout (I graduated many, many years later) with a laptop and no office space. I worked hard, barely sleeping but enjoying it and did my job well.
After that, I had my own big social media success, wrote books, traveled and achieved heights people dream of. I went on TV multiple times, bought anything I wanted (I've never had a big taste for fancy things so that was easy), and lived the writer's dream. But I was always doing and planning more. There was never any door that remained closed to me and I wanted to see what was behind every one.
The world was my oyster indeed.
Once I became a follower of Jesus, I took the same accomplishment mindset and applied it to my faith. I would still do everything that popped into my head or looked good and then whatever God wanted me to do, perhaps on the side. I would decide and barrel though life as I always did. Yes, that makes sense.
Quickly, I learned through trial and error that this is not how it works.
As is often, I don't remember if I was sleeping or awake when I saw this. It was Jesus' face that was before me, open, welcoming, and expectant and what He said was, "What did you do for Me?"
I knew the scene was taking place after all of this life was said and done.
"What did you do for Me?"
At the time I was involved in so many projects and had even more I wanted to do. I've never been at a shortage of ideas or drive to make them happen. The balls in the air were exciting and I saw unlimited possibilities and potential.
"What did you do for Me?"
The question caught me off guard because I thought He was going to ask, "What did you do?"
I could have answered, "What did you do?" easily and impressively. Well, Yeshua, I did a lot of things. A lot of things many people in the world would applaud and wish they had done themselves.
But that's not what He asked.
"What did you do for Me?"
Well. There were still some things. But as I thought about it, even some of those were for me or really about others.
There were some things. But I knew I could have done more, and it wasn't a matter of time or even effort in many cases, but where my heart was.
There was a time I didn't want to help with an activity in my child's old school. I truly did not want to for a reason most people would have sympathized with. So I said no. It wasn't until Jesus asked in the night, two nights before the activity was to take place: "Would you do it for Me?" that I relented. What I couldn't do for people, I could do for Him because I know His goodness and have experienced His lovingkindness toward me.
If I had done it out of a desire to be liked or an obligation to the class, it would have been nice, but in making my "yes" tied to a desire to do His will, it became something I was doing for Him.
Something as simple as making a child breakfast can be done unto Yeshua, unto Jesus, if one's heart is stayed on Him.
This isn't about building an empire for Jesus, His Kingdom already stands. It's about standing in the position He made you for.
For one person it could very well be a television network unto Jesus.
For another it could be standing behind a child at the park, pushing a swing unto Jesus.
It could be writing 100 books that point people to God's heart, until Jesus.
It could be planning and making your family's meals, unto Him or picking up Legos, unto Him.
Only you and God know.
God doesn't see things the way people do at all. He sight is deep and full, true, pinpoint accurate and wholly undeceived and unmoved at what sways the hearts of human beings.
Look at David. God saw a king in a boy in a field where his family saw one not even worthy to be in the running for such a position.
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" 1 Samuel 16:1-8
This isn't about earning one's way to heaven. Jesus already paid it. It's not even about going through the motions of holy-looking work because as He said there will be many who don't know Him apart from His name.
It's about a desire to want to have good things to tell the One I love.
Jesus likes to ask questions, I've noticed, but He doesn't ask questions to know the answer. He already knows.
"What did you do for Me?" The question made me think and put things down and pick new things up. It made me look around and what He'd already called me to do and do it will a new appreciation and attention because I knew I'd be telling Him about it one day and want to see Him smile.
There are many opportunities to do many things in this world. Many impressive, shiny things. But He has a plan for you.
Don't let the enemy or some invisible timetable or comparison make you feel as if you're missing out or coming up short. Don't get tricked into becoming busier than you need to be or insecure. Don't let anything steal the joy of your life and work for Him away from you because you're convinced you need to be somewhere "better."
Ask Him if you're where you're supposed to be and trust Him to guide you.
For mothers especially, I want to tell you that your children are not holding you back. They're the job. They're the work. They're the ministry and if the only thing you have to tell Jesus about is how you well and thoroughly you loved and took care of them, you will be called victorious.
There are the million dollar boardroom efforts that will pass through the fire emerging as ash, and the efforts of a mother sitting on a floor, playing with her baby that will pass through and emerge as the purest gold.
What is valuable to the world are what is valuable to God are not the same.
You can calm your mind and your heart and be at peace.
Work done unto Jesus is never small, unimportant, or a waste. He sees it all and in perfect vision.
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ."
The promises of God begin and end with Yeshua because He is the reconciliation. If you've been walking through life on your own and want to walk with a Shepherd who will never let go of your hand, here's how to start.