If you're seeking to know yourself, this might be the best time to get back and re-visit something you probably have not yet considered -- the Book of Genesis.
You probably know the Genesis as the creation story. If you grew up as a Christian, you probably have learned in pre-school how God created the world and humanity.
Knowing the story as a kid, however, had only left me with the idea of creation, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, and Abraham. But now that I'm a woman of experience, reading the Genesis book all over again goes on a whole new level of meaning and understanding.
More than it being just the story of creation, it becomes a handbook of purpose, among others -- reminding us of things that would inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves, continuing to use our gifts to make the world a better place.
And so without further ado, here are 7 valuable insights from the Book of Genesis that every young soul should know and remember:
1) Knowing your identity gets you started
In the Book of Genesis, people changed their names as a mark of their identity with God. The rest of their lives are then spent to fulfill their purpose and inherit God's promises.
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations." Gen. 17:5 (ESV)
Knowing yourself gets you to understand that you are made as you are for a purpose -- that there's an ultimate design working in you. Discovering this purpose would compel you to start from somewhere towards becoming the best of who you are.
2) Understand that things may not go your way for a reason.
The latter parts of the Genesis illustrate the story of Joseph the Dreamer -- how he was sold by his own brothers and ended up as a slave and prisoner in Egypt. But what seemed to be an unfortunate circumstance actually meant for a greater purpose, as he would later rise into power as a great man who saved the whole land from the seven years of famine.
Knowing that you have a purpose allows you to understand the idea behind "re-directions". It makes you realise that the troubles and failures you are experiencing are not the end of it all, but a mere starting point that only re-directs you to a better place that is rightfully yours.
3) The operative word is obedience.
The Genesis, along with the other books of the Old Testament, revolves around obedience and how following God's commands comes with a great prize; while the opposite leads to serious consequences.
While this is true, the corresponding consequences of obedience are not, however, the focus of this point.
Apparently, obedience is not the most delightful thing to hear, especially in this day and age. Admit it or not, people don't really like submission; unless, perhaps, there's an apparent reward in the end to which we could benefit from.
Indeed, we are all creatures of desire. It's the reason why we would often find ourselves stressed and burned out from our work or studies in the pursuit of fame, fortune, and power -- getting hold of a lot of things from time to time, but never really satisfied. But why is that?
The truth behind this is that we often mistake all these things for love. And the more that we get immersed in this world, the more we forget that love is the one we truly desire.
Going back to the Genesis narrative allows you to re-discover that you were created out of love; that you are, in fact, a creature of love above all else. Your life and your gifts are therefore meant to be shared with and for others. Fulfilling this is not only form of obedience, but a way of giving meaning to life.
4) It's okay to be weak and vulnerable.
You might find yourself feeling weak, insufficient, incapable, or lacking. Perhaps it gets you frustrated that no matter how hard you try to be that self-made man or woman that you've been aspiring for, you can't help but feel in need of support.
Reading the Genesis gives you the awareness that being in a state of lack can be an advantage. It gives you a clear-cut picture of how men of God gained the strength and the ability to become more through this sense of nothingness: by having nothing, it opens them to the possibility of gaining everything through the power of God.
As such, one can have peace upon knowing that there is hope in weakness; that indeed, one can gain more when his cup is not yet full. In essence, the Genesis narrative is a reminder that humans are not made and designed to be entirely self-sufficient. We need the help of others and, ultimately, of God in order to keep going; and unless we learn to accept and embrace that, the more likely we are to end up frustrated in life.
5) Worrying is not an option.
We may get into stressful situations from time to time; but see that everything DOES go to its proper place.
...And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed." Gen. 39:23 (ESV)
The Genesis, along with other books of the Bible, involved stories of men who went on to battles, encountered tragedies, great floods, fire storms dumped from above, and whatnot.
But holding unto something that is greater than them -- not in their own strengths, but to God who is above all else -- allowed them, not only to get through, but to succeed and be more. Their stories are a marvellous testimony that, indeed, God provides.
6) You were created for a life of excellence.
Above all else, it reminds us of our roots and identity: that each one of us are uniquely created in God's own image and that we were given different sets of talents and abilities for a purpose. Having this special privilege, therefore, entails having the greater calling to do more. As the Jesuit maxim goes, "Ad Maiora Natus Sum (I am born for greater things)."
7) Rest is a gift you ought to take.
Rest is a free gift that people often misuse, abuse, or take for granted. Apparently it's a basic need that one can't simply forego. While it's our duty to work with our own hands and give our best, God had also set a time for rest. which is the Sabbath day. As such, make the most out of this time to clear your mind and appreciate the life you have. If you ever find yourself lost, troubled, or deeply hurt, remember that you can always find comfort in God.
I hope you find these valuable. If you like my content, give some love: leave a comment or share with your friends!