There is very little about life that is accidental. You don’t happen to get your shoes tied, you don’t accidentally brush your teeth, and you don’t stumble into a life of purpose. It is something which must be acted upon. It’s purposeful. We acknowledge that with the small actions of life, we get up and are very intentional about the small routines of our every day but we often wake up and take a look back at the last week, month or year and think to ourselves, “How did I get where I am? Did I walk, wander, or sleep to my current place in life? Where am I going, what is my direction, my calling, my purpose?”
If we want to live a life of meaning (and who doesn’t?), then we must start with a life of purpose. We must be an intentional people, you must inspect your life, your passions, and take responsibility for the culture that you create in the community around you (we’ll talk about this next week).
So what is this life purpose worth living for? I’m glad you asked.
A purpose worth living for satisfies.
When you get to the end of your life, will you look back with regret or joy? Will you sigh that final breath with peace and enjoyment, or fear and trepidation? Your purpose ought to create in you a sense of gladness, anticipation, excitement and vivid nervousness. Like that almost queasy feeling of bliss as the roller coaster clicks and clanks its way up the first climb (experiences may differ, but I love this feeling). The type of life mission that begs the question of “could I possibly even accomplish that?” Does the thought of achieving your purpose make you nervous? If so, it is good. As Jon Acuff would say, ‘That’s fear attempting to fight off the awesome.’ Our lives should not leave us wanting, dismal of our next moments. In fact if you look back over your life, you might just see glimpses of moments that you were living on the brink of your purpose. Times where you did something that mattered and you felt so great. Your life seemed to be worth all the agony of the former days, months, and years because you were able to see a shadow of your purpose. You may not have fully realized it as such when it happened, but that’s what the feeing was. The glow from a life almost lived on purpose. Ultimately, this is most fell when we rely on God to satisfy us and when we place our purpose within His will and find our greatest joy delighting in Him.
A purpose worth living for travels.
Some people spend their entire lives in one city, some pick up and move every 18 months. This is not at all what I am referring to when I say your purpose travels. I think staying in one city for an extended number of years is extremely beneficial for a successful impact, so what does a traveling purpose look like? It means it can be accomplished everywhere you are. Your current location can’t stop your purpose in life, maybe you could work at it quicker or more fully from another location, but if you can’t thrive where you are now, what makes you think different grass will help? We must be impacting the world around us, wherever we are. I had a professor who once told us the key to the success of a missionary was whether they were ministering in the their home country before they left. If you aren’t sharing the gospel and meeting the deepest needs of the people around you with whom you share a culture, language, and thought process, what makes you think you will have success in a foreign context? Did not the Holy Spirit call from among the church Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:2) those who were already a part of the teaching and preaching ministry (Acts 13:1)? They were not invisibles in their community, but prepared, active, and responsible for much impact. So know your purpose, and start now, be satisfied now, and travel with it as you are led by the Spirit to go.
A purpose worth living for impacts lives.
Your life matters, your actions impact, your words affect, your purpose is grand. Don’t be afraid of insanely important tasks, don’t be ashamed of a passion to live a life much bigger than you can dream. God has not granted us boredom and staleness, but his very own breath which yields life. He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. He has granted us through Jesus to be better than dry corpses pushing papers, making money, and consuming. He has granted us life everlasting, life to the full, a mission for the world, and a place at the banquet table of the King. Connect with the world, change the lives of your fellow man, rise up with purpose and lead the charge to affect change in the hidden people all around you. They’re only hidden until you open your eyes and give them worth and show confidence in their importance, grace in their weaknesses, and imagination at what they can become.
A purpose worth living for leaves a legacy.
Nothing worth living for dies with the initiator. It spreads like wildfire as the world sees this life of purpose. Not everyone will see and be touched, transformed, and join the ranks of purposeful living. There will always be “zombies” on the earth living only for food with little brain stimulation, seeking to stop all those who long for something more. There is always transformation with purpose. You will always catch someone in the throws of purpose even if your life of purpose is as simple as “I will live to love my wife with all that I am.” It will create impact on lives, your wife’s first, but then others as they see your example and hear the way you speak about it. It will grow a similar desire in their own life to live toward their own wife, it will grow and impact the way your children see marriage, love, and devotion. It will create a wake of impact, it will leave an impact as an asteroid on the void of the moon. It will forever change the course of the world, even though it may be unseen, even though your impact may be forgotten, it will reverberate throughout the ages all the same.
What in your life gives you the thrill and excitement of purpose?
Whose lives of purpose have left an impact on you?