Almost everyone has a purpose in life. Taoists say that their purpose in life is rejoining the One. Hedonists say that their purpose in life is to enjoy while they can. Christians say that their purpose is to glorify God.
But often even we Christians seem to lose our purpose. We become listless. Our standard of work falls. We have fewer creative ideas. We can be careless of other people or their belongings. Sometimes we can lose respect for ourselves.
If we look at our human condition, that’s certainly easy to do. Our race has rebelled against God and the majority continues to defy Him. We are ruining our planet. Our personal lives are filled with suffering, mistakes and regret.
But we must look beyond ourselves. If we don’t stretch our gaze past the busyness and boredom of everyday life to above the heavens and see God, we are still lost.
I remember learning the Westminster Shorter Catechism when I was about 8 or 9. The first question and answer is this:
Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
At that stage, I really had no understanding of that at all. God hadn’t yet begun to teach me to look beyond my immediate surroundings and see Him. The phrase was for me arbitrary, having no meaning beyond that of the individual words.
That changed. God began to work in my heart, first showing me my sin, and then filling me with His Holy Spirit and showing me His glory, beyond the clouds.
So then, I was filled with a new desire to seek His ways, to serve Him in all my doings. Glorifying God became the new purpose of my life. And I was enjoying it. But I didn’t understand that.
It took a few months. Then one winter morning as I was swinging my way down the South Hill, it hit me. I was enjoying God! And I was just going to keep on doing that, forever! In the midst of my sorrows and triumphs, I am still enjoying Him.
But the story doesn’t end there. My life is still going on, and I still need to examine my heart to find purposes hidden there. All which are contrary to God’s will, I have to ask Him to cut away, and all which are in conformity to His Word, I rejoice in!
There’s one more point which I’ve covered elsewhere on my blog, in the post God’s Commands and Our Promises. I continue to struggle with this one. Why did I get out of bed this morning? Because I was hungry? Because I needed to be at the library before 9 am? Or was it simply because God’s Word says in Proverbs 26:14 that
As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.
Beautiful poetry, of course. But what a strong message! The next time you turn off the alarm and roll back over, remember this!
So, on this earth and for all eternity, our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Have fun!