The following is a report on the practical applications of Marcus Ryan's new book, Restless Journey: Every Man’s Struggle for Significance, (Harvest House, 2006).

 

Picture yourself lying inside a casket at your funeral. Will the mourners there be able to eulogize you accurately?  Will there be enough people who truly knew you well to carry your casket? Will the story of your life live on in people’s memories and inspire them to influence the future?

 

Make sure you truly live before you die. Accept the quest God has made you for – to discover who you are, and let other people know that person.

 

Here’s how you can come to know your true self and be known by others:

 

* Understand significance. Recognize what’s most important in life (knowing and being known) and what pales in comparison (such as earning money, power, or degrees). Know that what matters most isn’t what you achieve, but who you become as a person. Ask God to help you focus on what’s significant in life and avoid distractions.

 

* Take off the masks. Realize that refusing to look at who you really are and letting others see that person leads to feelings like restlessness, uneasiness, inadequacy, futility, and despair. Stop wearing masks of your own making or that others have placed on you. Don’t worry about trying to project a certain image; decide to value the real you and share that with others. Know that once you discover yourself and help others perceive you for who you are, your relationships will be richer, your goals will come into focus, and your personal level of satisfaction will rise. So put aside the roles you’ve been playing, and start to become the person you were born to be.

 

* Know what it means to be known. Understand that being known doesn’t mean being a celebrity or the life of a party. It doesn’t require you to make yourself vulnerable to strangers or act in any ways that aren’t natural to you. Instead, being known simply means that you discover yourself through interacting with others, and that they witnesses your life and become keepers of your story.