A colleague recently gave me a copy of a letter C.S. Lewis wrote in response to someone admiring his work. “It is always cheering to know one’s bottle with a message in it has found land.” I couldn’t help but think, what an apt description for those who write! We put our words in bottles of books or blogs, and in faith pray our communiqué finds fertile soil. But “bottles” come in as many shapes and sizes as the messages they contain…
Musicians compose their opuses; photographers snatch life glimpses; painters make a blank canvas come alive. Beyond artists, mothers and fathers train children. Teachers impart their expertise; contractors bid jobs; preachers deliver sermons. All hope their message will “land.”
Yet, isn’t each individual life a message in a bottle? We have been cast from our mothers’ wombs, custom-made, to tell a unique story. Yours. Mine. No matter how far the culture trends, our lives cannot be squeezed into a hash tag. We were made for so much more. What we do with our message matters.
Don’t be deceived into thinking your life is insignificant.
The power of your story—your bottled message—cannot be measured by man’s estimation of meaning. Paul said, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself” (I Corinthians 4:31). He knew his job was to live up to what he had already attained and keep pressing on, writing his story, taking hold of the purpose for which the Lord had taken hold of him, engaging till his dying breath (Philippians 3:12-16). He exhorts us to do the same.
God has created you with purpose. Max Lucado writes, “The Amazon River out of which a thousand fears flow [is] do we matter? We fear we don’t.” My friend, be assured that you do matter. You matter more to God than you can possibly imagine. Don’t shrink back from letting him form the message he has designed for you to send. Cast it out in faith, and when it returns after many days….
You will find it to be, in Lewis’ words, quite “cheering.”