This Christmas-Holiday season coupled with my ninth wedding anniversary was wonderful. My children were pure joy and relished Christmas as any child should. I was surrounded by family and we didn’t have a single quarrel or disagreement. We had wonderful friends join us adding to the enjoyment of the season. And although we didn’t celebrate with a lot of bells and whistles, our anniversary was simply great. Lastly, my wife and I kicked off New Year’s Eve by watching The Passion of the Christ.
It truly is a wonderful time of year. And I would hope that for most it is a time for reflection. One thing I was reflecting on was the idea of “what matters in life.” Often at this time people realize that friends and family are more important than money and possessions. As I pondered this, some realizations came to me.
While this is a season of joy and happiness for many, it is also a season of frustration and anxiety for others. People come upon this time and face the hard reality of their economic situation and habits. Some realize their entire year has been spent chasing something less important than the people surrounding their Christmas trees opening gifts. Many more questions rise in the hearts and minds of those who haven’t been hardened by the monotony of day-to-day living. You can fill in the blank with your own questions.
What I realized was I needed to start asking a different question. Rather than asking what matters in life, let’s ask ourselves, “What is my purpose?” We know our family is more important than work, but if we don’t work we can’t provide for our family. We want to be able to give to charity but can’t because we barely make ends meet at home. We feel we could do some good volunteering with various organizations but struggle because it takes even more time away from work or family. We have these inner promptings but basically don’t know how to manage them.
Imagine living your life in a manner where every decision you make is based on pursuing your God-given purpose. Imagine that as you live a purposeful life by default you take care of the things that matter in life. It is a concept that has been largely lost.
Remember this question, because I believe it’s a better question. “What is the purpose of my life?” There is a purpose. But if there is a purpose, then there is a Creator. And to know the purpose of something, you must first know the intent with which the thing was created. Why was your life created? Start there. And don’t settle for not knowing the answer. When you begin to live your life and make decisions based on the purpose of your life, then the details of life begin to work out. Marriage now has a deeper meaning. We discover we are more than babysitters for our children. We discover that even money has a purpose beyond paying the bills and giving us what we want. And perhaps the greatest result of living for purpose, we figure out how to change our lives, our incomes, our investment of time, so we can accomplish that purpose.
The bible says Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. His purpose was people being reconciled back to Father God. His purpose caused Him to willingly go through a horrible, agonizing torture and death (watch The Passion of the Christ). Pursuing a God-given purpose will cause you and I to do things we would never have done otherwise. It removes selfishness, insecurities, pride, and limiting beliefs. It directs our thoughts, decisions, and actions about life, relationships, and priorities. We gain confidence, accountability, and responsibility. Simply put, living with purpose is the most fulfilling way to live life.
I pray 2012 finds you discovering your God-given purpose, ultimately leading you to the greatest satisfaction you’ve known.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8