Friday, August 24, 2007

Got Purpose?

I love watching nature shows on Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, etc. Shark Week sans the evolutionary mumbo jumbo is usually quite exhilarating. It is simply fascinating to learn the intricate details of thousands of animals and to bask in the awe of God’s creativity and wisdom. Recently, I learned that if you hit a shark on the nose (snout) there is a good chance it will leave you alone. I’m hoping I never get a chance to test that theory.

With all of the amazing animals that God has created, I think the most amazing are the Homo sapiens. We have the ability to study other animals and influence the lives of all of the other animals. We have great capacity to think (notice I said capacity) and ponder the great questions of existence. I mean, you never see a depressed shark moping around wondering if he will ever be able to program his remote control.

Ultimately, we want to know what the meaning of life is. We want to know why we are here and what the purpose of life is. Rick Warren’s success with The Purpose Driven Life demonstrates our quest for meaning and purpose, and this quest is not unique to believers. Most of us want our lives to matter. We want to know that what we do makes a difference.

God created us in His image, which makes us unique creatures. Because we bear God’s image we are able to exert some control over the direction of our lives. We certainly cannot control catastrophic events, but we have great freedom to shape who we want to be and what we will spend our days doing.

Shaping who we want to be is about living life with purpose. It is about determining the principles that will guide our lives and establish who we are at our core. Living with purpose is about having a gameplan for our life and deciding what we want our life to be to the extent that it is within our ability to determine. The time to set a strategy is before the whistle blows, and we find ourselves in the middle of tempting circumstances and alluring diversions.

So, what will we spend our days doing? If you listen to the talking heads on TV discussing football games (Go Bears!), you are likely to hear them discussing the execution of strategy or the lack thereof. And, the reason is clear – to be successful our plans must be carried out. Executing our plans means that we are living life on purpose. We are following our principles. We keep doing the right things (Lombardi) so that in the end we will win. A win for me means that in the end I find that my life really did matter.

Anyone interested in some saltwater snorkeling?


James said...

Yes I'll take you up on the snorkeling.

Nice to see someone else thinking about this lately. I wonder everyday whether or not what I do does anything beyond paying the bills. Not very rewarding! But necessary.

What if we all did our jobs with a purpose? If from the most minial to the most prestigious was done with the intent of making this world a better place, what kind of job would we live in?

Oh well, back to "bringing home the bacon". Do they allow bacon on the airplane?

Jina said...

It is good to see that you found time to update your blog. I usually look daily to see if there is anyting new.

21k said...

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Many people begrudge their job because it is seen as mostly a means to provide for their family, but I think "bringing home the bacon" falls under purpose in life. Two passages come to mind.

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. Titus 3:14

21k said...

I wish writing was easier for me. I would update more frequently, if it didn't take me so long to collect my scattered thoughts.