“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
When I Grow Up
All through high school, I dabbled in computers. My dad had a computer consulting company in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and we had several personal, home, computers during my four years of high school.
It was certainly a popular field to aspire to. I thought that was my life’s purpose: to program, design, and in all ways, work with computers.
I thought I was all set. I even took a college computer programming class while still in high school and got an A in the class. My purpose and goal to be a computer-guy was on track!
My freshman year of college I took two courses toward that goal – engineering graphics and college algebra and trigonometry.
My World Came Crashing Down
That was when reality hit. I failed the graphics class. I got a C-minus in the math class. I was not going to be able to pursue a degree in computer engineering at that time.
My life’s purpose was now a big blank. What was I supposed to do now?
I had spent the last four years dreaming about computers, working with personal computers, and making plans with my best friend to pursue our dream.
Now the dream was gone.
At least for a while, I suppose. I could have pursued the that dream and purpose later in life.
But God had something else in mind for me.
Adrift in a Sea of Purpose-less-ness
I thought that I wanted to be some kind of computer engineer, or work with computers in some way, when I grew up.
After that devastating first semester, I felt adrift in a dark and bleak world.
I certainly felt alone. My best friend was off at a good school pursuing our dream. I was still at home, not even to the point where I was trying to figure things out!
Several prominent authors knew how I felt.
“Then what is life for? To die? To kill myself at once? No, I am afraid. To wait for death till it comes? I fear that even more. Then I must live. But what for? In order to die?” — Leo TolstoyLeo Tolstoy, The Devil and Other Stories (OUP Oxford, 2003)
“Life is just a dirty trick, a short journey from nothingness to nothingness.” — Ernest HemingwayQuote taken from Cliffe Knechtle, Give Me an Answer (Westmont, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1986), 71.
“They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.” — Samuel BeckettShmoop Editorial Team, “Waiting for Godot Life, Consciousness, and Existence Quotes,” Shmoop University, Inc., 11 November 2008, http://www.shmoop.com/ waiting-for-godot/life-consciousness-existence-quotes-6.html.
A Purpose Revealed
But then God spoke to me. I was led by a new friend. While I was a Christian, he was a stronger Christian and he led me back to a deeper relationship with Christ. He prayed with me, talked long with me. And then led me to this passage in Bible:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I was no longer on the path to computer engineering. But I was still enrolled in college and facing a blank class schedule that I had to fill in.
God used two classes to begin to reveal my purpose.
I enrolled in a speech class. And I enrolled in a “Philosophy of Religion” class. I both loved these classes and did very well in these classes.
So, I enjoy and am good at speaking publicly. And I enjoy and am good at learning about God and religion.
What could my purpose be?
Thirty-five years later here I am writing about God and preparing to preach a sermon about God’s purpose for our lives.
Yes, this is a rather simplified version of my story, and there are certainly more details to the story. But hopefully you are getting the gist of my story and my purpose for telling it.
The Prerequisite for Purpose
It has been said that “most of us do not spend a lot of time thinking about our purpose, at least on a cosmic scale.”
But a life without purpose is troubling, at best. I believe that we all have, deep inside our hearts, a strong desire to have a purpose and to find out what that purpose is.
If you are asking the questions, “Who should I spend time with? Where should I work? How should I spend my money?” then you are seeking your life-purpose.
A very wise man once said that, “Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing” (Ecclesiastes 2:11, The Message).
Life is meaningless.
But God gives everything meaning. I believe that every person on earth was created to know and love God personally. And we can only know God personally through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
That’s the prerequisite to finding your purpose.
If you would like to know more, contact me or leave a comment (if you are reading this on the blog). I would love to talk with you more about this!
God, I am seeking my purpose (or the clarity of my purpose). I have just read that I can find that purpose in your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that you will show me my purpose. Open my heart and mind to my purpose in Jesus Christ. In his name I pray. Amen.
© 2019 True Men Ministries