If I had to sum up this chapter in one sentence, this is what I would say. God has created each of to "live" in the time in which we exist, not to "exist" in the time in which we live.
What does it mean to really live? Does it mean living in the palace, favored by the King, living in the lap of luxury and privilege? Does it mean having a protective mentality, that when others of our culture are facing extinction, disease, or death that we hide behind the walls of the castle, saving our own skins? Does it mean focusing only on what is pleasant and good and ignoring the unpleasantness's of life? Does it mean being satisfied as long as alls well?
Or does it mean, walking boldly and reverently into the presence of the King seeking mercy for others although you may not receive mercy? Does it mean giving your life for others, even though it may cost you some or all of what you already enjoy? Does it mean seeing past the walls of the castle to the tapestry of time that God is so intricately weaving and realizing that there is one minute stitch in that canvas that is called "your life". If that stitch is successfully completed, it will blend in with all the other stitches of all the other lives through all the ages of time. And when you stand back aways from it and look at the whole completed work, you will stand in awe and wonder at the artist that created and completed it.
I see my life this way. Assuredly, it is hard to think of all the years of my life as one, tiny, minute stitch in the canvas of time. It's humbling. It may even tend to make me think that my life is not that important in the grand scheme theme of things, but we all know that one missing stitch in a hand stitched garment can appear as a gaping hole. One missing part of any woven project, one twisted stitch, can mar the entire thing! And if my stitch in that tapestry was worth the death of the spotless Son of God, then yes, it is worth quite a bit.
So I have to ask myself, why did God choose to make me a woman? Why was I born to the parents I was born to? Why was I born in the time that I was born? What is the purpose of my life and is it really all that important in the grand scheme of things?
YES! It is! Not because of me so much. But I am here because of God's perfect and unique design. There are people that I will influence, there are people that I will meet who are also here for a unique reason in a unique time. But this line of thinking brings me around to realize that I AM UNIQUE--just like everyone else! LOL! Just the thought of God's unfolding plan, soul by soul, is hard to wrap my brain around, so I don't even try to. But what I do try to do is to figure out where the stitch of my life fits in the tapestry of God. And I seek God, asking for an eternal perspective in all the choices I make in life, so that I will not leave a gaping hole in His final product. And I realize that every day I live, every breath I take has purpose and is important, not only in the time in which I live, but in the time to come!
It gives me a "proper estimation of myself", as C.H. Spurgeon said. It is a humble place, but true humility is also a place of great exaltation, and it is a place of true effectiveness because the power of God supersedes any carnal, fleshy talent, gift, or dream that we might have. And in the end, I get a place in God's master design--oh what joy! But HE gets all the glory for the finished product!
So I can see myself as important, but not. I can live with purpose, but not my own purpose. I am but a small length of yarn in God's sewing box. He can pick me up and use me at any time. He decides if I will be a gray that blends form with shadow. He decides if I am, instead, a brilliant color, or one flecked with gold that shines when the light hits it. (Personally I think that will be reserved for all the martyrs, the disciples, and the Apostle Paul). And in the end, no one will ask to see the individual thread colors He used to do the work, they will only stand back and say "What an awesome designer, what a beautiful work, it's perfection." And God will be glorified! And this little stitch will smile and worship!