Hi There !
So, God forbid that on our death bed
the last thing we can say about our life is
"I didn't do it on purpose,"
except God won't forbid it.
But we can, if we refuse to drift through the years without purpose.
Purpose is the
of our life's GPS.
When it's clear, it's definitive of direction and leads to destination.
Without it we basically spin our wheels, burn rubber, waste gas,and get nowhere fast.
Imagine a cab driver asking
and we don't have an answer.
We also don't have a ride, much less an arrival.
So it is with life.
To get somewhere we've gotta have somewhere to "get."
Rick Warren sold over thirty million copies of his book
Purpose Driven Life,
mapping out life purpose.
Even with all my spin outs and sins over these many years,
I have been blessed since boyhood with a clear sense of purpose.
The Baltimore Catechism got me off to a good start:
"God made me to know Him, love Him, serve Him in this world,
and to be happy with Him forever in the world to come."
John Wesley called it personal holiness and social holiness.
Life purpose means oneness with God and service to his people.
My personal sense of purpose presented in those boyhood days and still this morning as
Union with God
Bring people and God together.
Whenever I go off the rails, that sense of my purpose always puts me back on the tracks.
Over the years my sense of purpose has been my guidance system.
My sense of union with God has lead me to scripture, meditation, prayer,
spiritual reading and direction, a church community, worship and sacraments, and to spiritual retreats.
My sense of bringing people and God together has found a host of modes and endeavors:
pastoring, teaching, counseling, giving spiritual direction, migrant ministry, youth work,
advocating for social and environmental justice, mentoring clergy, men's ministry,
church and academic administration, gay men's ministry, developing small group ministries,
leading retreats. and now in old age, this blog.
Pablo Picasso paints a marvelous picture of meaning and purpose:
" The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away."
So it's a "two-fer." - gift and giving.
In other words, what do we have to give?
What's inside us that needs to get out?
What fire burns within us that will warm others?
What's just too good to keep to ourselves?
What do we have that others need?
What's our enthusiasm ( in Theo ism )?
Purpose is where our gift and other's need come together.
For my mother that was to be a nurse and to have us children.
For Edison it meant to experiment and invent.
For Mother Teresa it meant "mothering" people discarded by society.
For George Washington it was to "father" a nation.
For a quiet man I counsel it is to find simple was to cheer people on.
Purpose is not so much career as it is charism.
Charism is a spiritual gift that takes practical form and energizes it.
All this is simply and compellingly Spirit Said:
"The gift you have been given give as a gift."
1 Peter 4:10
Mark Twain even gets in on all this:
" The two most important days of your life are
when are born and the day you find out why."
Helen Keller could see better than most:
"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes happiness.
It is not attained through self gratification,
but through fidelity to purpose."
Gift to give!
Hopefully on our death bed we'll all be able to say of our life,
"I did it on purpose!"
as we fade to Fullness.
We welcome to our company new friends from Vietnam and South Africa.
Delighted to be together.
As always, thanks to one and all for your good company.
See you next week.
In God's Dear Love,