Friday, January 30, 2009

Focus

A coworker recently asked me, "What is my purpose in life? What if I've missed it? What am I supposed to do?" I tried to answer her (a nominal Christian) as best I could, advising her to live a life of obedience to God for the purpose of bringing Glory to His name. I really don't think I shared anything earth-shattering with her, because I think she already knew the answer, but was still afraid there was something more.

Personally, I sense that desire for something more quite often. There's always that nagging question when you pillow your head at night, "Should I be over there, doing that?" There is a perpetual longing for fulfillment felt by each one of us, which, throughout our lifetime, manifests itself in various forms. Career. Marriage. Children. Hobbies. Academics. Relationships. Money. Entertainment. When these things don't fulfill us like we thought they would, we feel supremely disappointed. We think we should be satisfied, but we're not. And we can't figure out why. Soon, we start looking anywhere and everywhere for purpose and direction - even turning to coworkers!

Several summers ago, while working for Scioto Hills Baptist Camp, I was particularly plagued with these type of "meaning" questions. On August 1st, 2004, I stayed up late into the night with a flashlight, notebook, and Bible determined to gain a greater sense of purpose. Over the next couple of evenings, I developed five purpose statements which I felt encompassed God's plan for my life. Over the past several years I have prayed these purpose statements hundreds of times, and I still pray them almost every day. Again, there is nothing genius or groundbreaking about these statements. The hard part isn't knowing our purpose, but learning to truly be satisfied with God, and God alone.

My Purpose Statements

I desire to...

...Seek God with my heart, that I may develop a Biblical worldview.
(Ps. 1:2; Acts 17:27; Ps. 119:10)
...Study God with my mind, that I may know the truth.
(2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; Heb. 5:13-14;)
...Serve God with my will, that I may be obedient to God's Word.
(Rom. 12:1-2; I Cor. 10:31; Josh. 24:15 )
...Show God with my actions, that I may show Christ's love to all.
(Heb. 13:1; John 15:13; Matt. 5:16 )
...Share God with my words, that I may introduce people to Christ.
(Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:19-21)

4 comments:

  1. Even at my age I'm constantly learning something new from God's Word. Enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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  2. Wow, Jason, I LOVE those purpose statements. Thanks for sharing them. I've been especially praying for you & Emily lately that you would find purpose & daily ministry in this 'waiting', preparation time of school & work. So I'm really glad to see that God's been working at answering those prayers before I thought of them! :)

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  3. I wonder if this "empty" feeling is especially true for women... it seems I struggle with this in a particle and unexplainable way, and I've heard the same from other women as well. Almost as if they have a special cavity that they try to fill with romance novels, movies, fantasies, busyness, etc. I know men have the same struggle, but i wonder if it is more compartimentalized for them than it is for women. It seems that women, among all the multi-tasking and nourishing, more frequently feel a loss for themselves and a continual need to be affirmed. A certain constant grasping for satisfaction, really...

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  4. Wow, I loved your comment, Emily. This is so true. We look for fulfillment/purpose in a man...then in our babies...or some women look for it in their careers...when we need to be looking to Christ alone for our fulfillment.

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