Greetings! Through the many years of Pastoring and bringing comfort to the dying I’ve observed that way too often, at the end of life folks are filled with regret and remorse. A very few are angry. Of course there are also many who have complete peace and are ready to go on. Along the way I’ll share observations and reflections on each of these arbitrary groups. Today I’ll share my thoughts on “PURPOSE”.
A favorite book/movie of mine is “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” where the characters seek answers to: “The Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything!”. Whether voiced or not, we all have such questions and in particular what is the meaning of MY life. Why am I here? How can I give meaning to my life? What is my Purpose?
Personal Identity is intertwined with the question of life, but for now I’ll set that aside to focus on Purpose. For those I mentioned early at the closing moments of life who are filled with regret and remorse there is often an awareness of a life that wandered without a worthy purpose. With no purpose to provide vision, life just wandered in ways that ultimately were meaningless.
For Christians the Purpose question can be answered in absolute terms that at the same time leave room for individual expression. The “Great Commandment” taken from the Bible in Matthew 22:36-40 – “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The word used for “Love” in this context is NOT an emotion or feeling, but instead is an action. Looking out for what is best for the other, sacrificially, is what Christ did on the cross. Our over-arching purpose is to Love others proactively. As I said a moment ago, this still leaves room for a personal calling by God that is a subset Purpose in your and my life. My Calling is to resource & facilitate making disciples of men. Your purpose is what God made you to do through Him. You are perfectly made for your purpose – it literally fits you. God can and will use us all in an infinite variety of ways and settings.
God creates us with innate talents, but then as we are in a saving relationship with Him, also gives us Spiritual Gifts. The Spiritual Gift is the power/tool set to execute your God-given mission.