I recently heard a song called "So Will I" as I attended a youth conference with some of my high school students. The song talks about the billions of stars and creatures in the world that show his glory, stating “if creation sings your praises, so will I.” Surrounded in a room by thousands of teenagers singing this song with the lights flashing and the pulse of the song beating through my veins, the song left quite an impression on me.
But the more meaningful experience with this song happened in a much quieter way, as I took a walk one evening at my home. The sun was lowering and the colors of the sky swirled amongst the clouds. The trees became dark silhouettes before fading into the darkness of the sky. I looked up and saw the countless stars created by my loving God. And then I started to hear the sound of the cicadas and birds serenading the now dark sky and the wonder of God and His creation that I sang about then, surrounded me in such a powerful way.
What a gift! The beautiful, priceless gift of his creation that reveals his mercy each and every day. Will I join the stars and creatures of the earth in praising Him? Ephesians 1:11-12 says this, “In Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.”
In general, we are all called to glorify God in similar ways. One way is in how we treat the rest of creation. If all creation is to glorify God, protecting those creatures and their habitats is a concern of mine and should influence the decisions I make in how I live my life. Whether in my daily choices, or my support of policies that impact the environment, am I serving my own interests more than those of the planet or those impacted by the environment?
My interactions with other created beings also have the potential to either glorify God or myself. Our words can serve to sing of His praises as we share the goodness He is doing in our lives, or our words can simply complain and be seeped in negativity or gossip. If His glory is my heartbeat, then the interactions I have with others will have their best in mind, and not my own comfort or desires.
While those are ways that we are all called to glorify God, the amazing thing is that each of us is called to glorify God uniquely by fulfilling the calling He has given us in being who we are as individuals. God made us all different and we don’t have to force others to be like us, but we are called to glorify Him in our unique ways.
If you are a creator of art or music, may His glory be seen and heard in the beauty you make. If you are called to minister for him in a vocation, do that with the strength that the Holy Spirit provides. No matter what career you are called to, perform it in excellence to show the excellence of God to those you work with and for. If you are a parent, changing diapers, cleaning up messes or trying to figure out how your precious baby turned into an eye-rolling creature called teenager, glorify Him in that calling.
I heard another song this month called Slow Down that talked about children growing up, and I started to cry. The thought of my two-year old not needing me the way she needs me now made my heart cringe trying to imagine life without that. Even though the dirty diapers and temper tantrums aren’t exactly nice, I love this phase in my life. But if my life is to glorify God, then my sense of being comes from who He made me to be and not just the roles I am performing. I can marvel and celebrate the place I am now and the place that I will one day be.
Every morning we have a choice—will I live for God’s glory or my own? My glory may be able to shine for a little while, but it is a fading glimmering firefly in comparison to the sun of God’s glory. Glorifying God is not some huge lofty thing that is unattainable, it is the every-day decisions and attitudes that I carry with me along the way. What will I do with my next moment? This moment is all that is guaranteed, so make it count. May others see in our lives the beautiful God that I know who paints the sky and roars in the crashing of the ocean, and speaks love in the silence of the deepest places of our hearts.
Kasey Carty Jordan is a former missionary to China and currently serves in youth ministry with her husband Kurt at their Catholic parish. The Jordans reside in Monticello with their seven children.