Things that lack meaning and purpose are trash. Actual garbage.
When a TV no longer receives transmissions or broadcasts those transmission as it was designed, it gets thrown out or recycled.
When jeans fail to communicate our sense of fashion, protect our legs or keep us warm, they go to GoodWill.
When a car (or bike or skateboard) becomes an unreliable a mode of transportation, it is replaced with other modes and discarded in a “junkyard.”
When a house no longer participates in the purpose of shelter, security and comfort because of being ravaged by time, the effects of neglect and disrepair, it is condemned, abandoned and possibly razed.
When an object stops existing for the reason it was manufactured it is discarded. I think a similar disregard happens with people too. When we lack meaning, reason and purpose we fail to live and just existence. Lost. Confused. Wondering from day to day. To substantiate my point review the sales records set by a book titled, “The Purpose Drivine Life.” Some have said it is the best selling non-fiction book of all time! This books starts out asking the question, “What one Earth am I here for?” This is now subtitle for the book after its redesign for Millennials.
Feeling awash in this lack of understanding myself I tried to summarize my raison d’être (Fr: reason for existence) a few years again. Don’t get me wrong, I fully subscribe to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism which asks and answers:
Q: What is the chief end of humanity?
A: The chief end of humanity is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
But my exercise stemmed from a more person application of the question. What was my chief end, considering my personality, my story/history, my context, my strengths, my weaknesses, etc.? I based my answer off what I know of my calling and my life. I do not purport to know myself fully, but at least better than most. Over the years I have modified the answer and the questions. I have done this by revisiting this list with more age, wisdom, insight and direct intention. Here are some the questions I sought to answer:
- What is my point?
- What is the goal of my life?
- What do I want God to do with my thoughts, words and actions?
- What does God want to do with my vocation to preach and teach?
- What do I want to see happen (big picture) because I lived/existed?
- What effect do I want my life to have on other people (friends, family, co-workers, strangers, etc.)
- What do I want my legacy to be?
I had a bit of running a start since I had a ver. 1.0 addressing the question of my purpose. I used to say my purpose was to, “Make the Gospel of Jesus Christ as simple to understand as possible.” But after some reflecting, I noticed that this fell short. This line was good, but incomplete. It only spoke of what I would do, not the effect I hoped to have. It was based on my knowledge and ability. It did not look at the impact I hoped God would have through my life. So, I started thinking through ver. 2.0.
Here is where I stand now (#18). I reserve the right to change this statement as I change and understand more of God and his word thus requiring me to manifest what I have seen, heard and understood.
- To effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus for the purpose of life change/transformation.
- To transform lives through effectively communication of the gospel.
- To transform lives through the meaningful communication of the gospel.
- To transform lives through the application of the biblical truth, principles and values.
- To transform lives through the application of the Bibles truths, principles and values.
- To teach people the Bibles truths in order to change their lives.
- To bring glory to God through teaching that transform lives.
- To honor God through teaching that transform lives
- To honor God through teaching biblical principles, values and truths that will transform lives.
- To honor God through teaching biblical principles, values and truths that will transform people.
- To teach the truths, principles and values of the Bible to change lives.
- To teach the truths, principles and values of the Bible to transform lives.
- To live and teach biblical truths to transform lives.
- To transform lives through living and teaching biblical truths.
- To transform lives through a consistent living and teaching of biblical truths.
- To see lives transform lives through the consistent living and teaching of biblical truths.
- To transform lives through the consistent living and teaching of biblical truths.
- To transform lives through the consistent living and teaching of biblical truth.
“For Ezra had set his heart
to study the Law of the LORD,
and to do it
and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.”