Nothing is as disorienting as a lack of purpose.
In fact, I think the search for significance is the great struggle of many of our lives. It’s one of the core spiritual questions at the heart of each of us: “Who am I? Why am I here? Do I even matter?”
For creatives, its an especially daunting question; I don’t know what makes us such vulnerable targets, but it seems like creatives are especially bad at playing (and losing) the comparison game. We love to admire the work of others, but that admiration tends to come at the expense of a massive inferiority complex. It’s as if the success of another somehow negates the creative potential of your own life; no matter what you do or what you’re good at, there’s always someone else out there who’s better, faster or more “unique.” We’re completely insignificant… What a discouraging thought.
Thankfully, it’s also a stupid thought. Heck, let’s call it for what it is: an outright lie from the enemy. Each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made with a specific purpose by a Creator who loves us to death. It doesn’t get much more significant than that.
I think the fault comes when we try to compare ourselves against some massive scale or artificial standard instead of our own giftings and what God called has called us specifically to do right now. True, I may not have the skills/drive required to build the next Facebook (nor should I), but God has given me a very specific skill set and window of opportunity to revamp the communication strategy at my church. Your design work may not be the envy of Pinterest, but its making a important difference in reaching out to your community. Significance runs far deeper than mere “recognition.”
Is that to say that we shouldn’t strive for excellence and greatness? Of course not! You just have to remind yourself that true significance lies in chasing after the tasks that God has called you to tackle. Few things are more rewarding.