NOTE: This article appeared in the June 2014 issue of Direction Magazine.
If you are a sports enthusiast, then you can probably remember who won the last Super Bowl, NBA Championship, or World Series. If you are a gamer, then it probably doesn’t take you long, with controller in hand, to attain high levels on your favorite game. Maybe music is your deal. If so, there is a good chance that a mix of lyrics from various artists is shuffling through your mind at any given time. Or maybe you are a meaningless trivia nut. If so, you may enjoy finding answers to questions like these:
• Which ocean—the Pacific or the Atlantic—is saltier?
• What is America’s favorite flavor of ice cream?
• True or false? Babies are born without kneecaps.
• What is the last name of Elmo from Sesame Street?
• Or my favorite meaningless trivia question: forty thousand Americans injure themselves each year using ________?
The answers: Atlantic. Chocolate. True. Monster. The toilet. (Can’t imagine or explain that last one.)
You probably have a few of your own really good meaningless trivia questions.
Whether it’s sports, music, trivia, or something else, have you ever stopped to consider how much knowledge you possess? I am confident that we all know a lot about things that are important to us. I’m also confident that we all know a lot about things that really don’t matter for eternity.
Having a wide range of knowledge is important, but equally as important is the depth of your knowledge. Consider this: It doesn’t really matter what you know if you don’t know what really matters. In many ways, these first seventeen or eighteen years of your life will be the training ground for what’s next. God has a super big plan for what is next in your life—for what really matters!
There is great comfort in knowing that you matter to God. You are no accident. You are a person of significance and meaning. When God made you, He was really showing off. Colossians 1:16 is proof of this when it says, “everything, absolutely everything, got started in him and finds its purpose in him.” The key word here is “everything”! Everything excludes nothing. That means you are included in the everything!
To God, everything about you matters—your goals, aspirations, weaknesses, challenges, desires, ambitions, choices, relationships, past, present, and future. It all matters to Him.
Stacey, a senior in high school, approached me after I finished speaking at a Youth For Christ event recently to say, “I’m really freaked about next year. I know God has a plan for me, but I’m nervous about figuring it all out.” I encouraged Stacey to really work at enjoying the ride during her senior year. I told her that the questions and uncertainties she has about the “what’s next” after high school are a normal experience. And God wants to teach her to trust Him during all of this because she matters to Him.
This can be a tricky challenge for anyone, at any age. It’s not always easy to trust God, especially when you’re in the middle of a challenge. But know this: you do not face your challenges alone, because your challenges matter to God too. That’s right. God isn’t merely concerned about the fun, exciting, and glamorous rock star moments of your life. He’s also concerned about the intimidating, scary and challenging ones too. He’s concerned about all, because He knows that in both the super and the scary moments, He can prove Himself trustworthy to you…if you let Him.
Satan often spins his web of lies during such times of trouble. Be ready! He will try to use difficult moments in your life to convince you that God’s no longer in it with you. He knows the years until you graduate from high school are pivotal to the next many years of your life, and he will work overtime trying to discourage you and convince you that you no longer matter to God. Don’t buy the lies because they are as meaningless as the trivia questions you just read.
What does matter? You matter to God, and that is an answer you can always count on!