God’s purpose for my life.

What’s God’s plan for my life?

It can seem like the most important question we might ask.

But I’m starting to think that the question is, at best, a non-starter, a smoke screen, and a distraction.

Because the thing is, it’s almost inevitable that our answers to this question is a list of things to do.  Goals to accomplish.  Titles to earn.  Recognitions to recieve.

These might be great things.   Feeding the hungry.  Clothing the naked.  Visiting the improsoned.  Curing cancer.  Saving a life.  Saving a soul.

No matter how good these things are on the surface, they are not enough.

Asking the question, “What does God want me to do with my life?” and expecting the answer is a laundry list of things to do, no matter how noble… this is a dangerous, and ungodly path.

I don’t worship a God who wants me to spend my life contemplating my navel.  I don’t believe God wants me to disengage from the world.

But I believe that engagement in the world ought to flow out of what’s going on in my heart, my connection to Him.

And maybe this is part of why we get distracted.  Part of why we answer in the wrong way.

All those outward things are easy to identify, share, and quantify.  Perhaps equally importantly, they make me feel different, special, and unique.

I think the best and deepest answer to the question, “What is God’s goals for me” are universal ones.  God wants all of us to live in close relation with Him.

All the rest is just a means to an end.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

4 thoughts on “God’s purpose for my life.”

  1. His purpose is to serve Him. This service comes in many ways: through prayer and good works. That is the purpose of our life–to act good and use all the good He sends our way to continue in service to Him.

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  2. I wonder if you meant “our purpose is to serve him.”

    I agree with you up to a point. I think we can “act” good and still be pretty evil on the inside.

    And I think defining what it meant by “continuing in service to him” is really critical.

    It seems to me that good works most naturally and easily flow out of a heart that is in communion with God.
    But I think a person could quite easily be a do-gooder, engaged in amazing acts of kindness and mercy and actually be quite far from God. On the outside, it might appear that this person is fufilling the purpose God had from them. But the person and God know better.

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  3. “It seems to me that good works most naturally and easily flow out of a heart that is in communion with God.”

    True, but that is because “it is not I, but Christ in me” who does the good works.

    “…I think a person could quite easily be a do-gooder, engaged in amazing acts of kindness and mercy and actually be quite far from God.”

    You can usually spot these kinds of people by the selectivity of their do-goody-ness, and also by watching their behavior when they are either interrupted in any good act, or when criticised. Because they believe they “own” their time and therefore are the authors of their good deeds, they take offense at anyone or anything who gets in their way.

    As for myself, I know (at rare intervals, I am shown by God) that apart from Him I can do nothing good. I know that if it weren’t for Him supporting me and giving me strength, I would not, let alone could not, do any good thing.

    It is only the New Adam, that is Christ, who works good, and we only when yielding to Him fully and forgetting ourselves.

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