We have such a need for purpose; to have our lives matter.
I’ve wondered lately if that need comes from ourselves or from God. We grow up being told we must amount to something. Our resumes list our accomplishments and state what our purposes have been so that we might find a new purpose. Author and Pastor Rick Warren has seized on the word “purpose” as his mantra. In his book “Purpose Driven Life” he points out that real meaning and significance comes from understanding and fulfilling God’s purposes for putting us on earth. He then lists his understanding of what those purposes are: (a) offer real worship, (b) enjoy real fellowship, (c) learn real discipleship, (d) practise real ministry, (e) live out real evangelism. His book is intended to help others understand God’s incredible plan for their lives; to see the big picture of what life is all about and begin to live the life God created for them.
As a creature of God am I that much different from the other species that He created? I’m told the real difference in the animal and human species is my ability to choose. Each morning my dog stretches as I open the door where his bed is kept and then he walks outside to take care of business, eats his first meal of the day, and then simply enjoys being right where he’s at. He is always thrilled to see me, tries hard not to get up on the furniture or puddle in the house, and he feels secure in my presence when there is a thunder and lightning storm. He models for me what it is like to offer real worship, enjoy real fellowship, and to learn real discipleship.
When I take my dog for a walk he’s seems a little more excited than when he’s in the house, but he really doesn’t seem to care as long as he is with me. Is this “practicing real ministry”; going where your master takes you and just enjoying the experience?
As a follower of Jesus, I’m mystified, amused, and grateful all at the same time as I enjoy the serenity of doing nothing; a stage in my journey that I’ve experienced before but never quite as surreal as this time around. I fight the inner urge that offering real worship, enjoying real fellowship, and learning real discipleship isn’t enough. I know that loving God and others is “practising real ministry” and “living out real evangelism” but without an income, high gas prices, etc., for the most part I’m simply staying put and trying to learn what God has to tell me in this stage of my journey…that’s my purpose.
Having figured that out by putting it on paper, I think I’ll walk the dog 🙂