There is often a point in life when all the pieces come together—a moment when a picture emerges from the bits of our lives that previously looked like scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
When I began my work as executive director of the Christian Reformed Church, people often asked me about my new responsibilities. I usually responded that I felt as if someone had dumped a 500-piece puzzle on the table, and I was just beginning to turn the pieces over.
Now most of the pieces are face up. I have located a few edge pieces and discovered a few corners, and the pieces are beginning to fit. Starting to see the puzzle come together is a delight.
In his book Cure for the Common Life, Max Lucado writes about a similar phenomenon. He calls it the “sweet spot”—like the spot where the driver connects with the ball in such a way that you know it will land on the green, or the stick kisses the puck and you know that no goalie in the world can stop it.
Sweet spots aren’t limited to sports and jobs. Each of us has such moments when we know we are in the right place, doing the right thing—the thing for which we were created.
God created each of us with a sweet spot. We each have a purpose, and God equips us to fulfill that purpose. God has provided spiritual gifts to assure that we are able to do everything he asks of us.
One of the greatest joys I have experienced in the church is watching people discover and live in their sweet spots. I see it all around me: an elderly woman serving food at a homeless shelter; a middle-aged plumber discovering he can teach adolescent boys and enjoy it; a retired school teacher using her gifts to undo a bit of Katrina damage.
I see it all across our denomination. Wherever I visit, I hear wonderful expressions of transformed lives and communities. Christian Reformed people love to tell the stories of how God is working in their churches and lives.
The reports I read in the weekly “CRC News” e-mail and in Church@Work and other sections of The Banner are the narratives of people who have found their sweet spots. These are people who have discovered that living out God’s purpose is far more rewarding and valuable than anything else they could do.
Each has a special and unique role. Some preach with passion and persuasion while others come alongside an impoverished Haitian woman in the cane fields of the Dominican Republic and help her to establish a community store. Others sacrifice spring breaks and vacation days to bring help and hope to devastated lives in hurricane-ravaged communities.
Each one, in his or her unique way, is bringing Christ to a world desperate to experience the gospel. For the servants of God, life is sweet. Even when life is challenging or discouraging—and it often can be—it still carries the aroma of God’s grace. It is the place where God lives and reigns and the place where God calls us to be.
It doesn’t matter where we are or who we are with or even what we are doing, so long as we are doing it in that wonder-filled place of God’s purpose. This is what brings the greatest joy in life.
I invite you—no, I urge you—to search out and find the sweet spot in your own life.
About the Author
Jerry Dykstra served as the executive director of the Christian
Reformed Church in North America from 2006-2011.