Do I Have A Purpose?

Purpose is a funny word, as it relates to all of us.  We have purpose based on our obligations, we have sense of purpose when we can see we are meant for something, or the general vagueness of purpose in knowing something is out there and yet we’ve failed to see or realize its pending inevitability.  This final paradigm of purpose seems to be what most of my life exists under.  When I see something, which gives me a sense of purpose, everything is no longer ambiguous and I can move towards my goal with a surety which all but indicates I am right.  This is the same feeling I get when my obligatory purposes are within grasp every moment of the day, either in thought, prayer, or as real as my children looking at me to make the “right” decision in everything.  I will admit, I don’t always make the right decision, but it’s my purpose which helps to define where I should be.

Purpose is the author of men and women who choose to fight for freedom, or stand in defiance to tyranny.  It has been the impetus of the most beautiful works of art from the Sistine Chapel, to the hyperrealism in art we see in today’s modern medium.  Purpose has been responsible for technology in every aspect of our lives including medicine, entertainment, and food.  We know more now, and are more comfortable in life than any generation the world has ever seen.  Though, the rhetorical questions arise from this observation; since we look through the purpose of another, do we realistically expect the same results and do we realize the struggle within which their purpose allowed us this moment?

My truth is, yes, I see other’s purpose and in my own relative way adopt their struggle, until I realize I’m going in the wrong direction with their purpose for my own sense of meaning.  Perhaps they spent weeks or months, even years, pursuing their general direction in life, and in my own impatience I assume their struggle and except their pains to artificially move my life forward as they did theirs.  This is assuming their life moved forward with their purpose.   I know I’ve explored many people who found no truth in their purposeful life and subsequently considered themselves failures.  However, the question of God always comes into focus with this, at least for me.  My question, “what is my over-arching purpose in this life?”, took many years to answer, but it was a simple one.  God!  God, is my purpose.  Nothing more, nothing less, everything as it relates to God, should be my focus.  This means, the best father I can be, as God is my father and has loved me from before I was born.  The best husband I can be as it is a blessing from God when he created the covenant between my wife, myself and him.  The “best version of myself”, a phrase constantly repeated by Matthew Kelly of Dynamic Catholic. 

Our purpose as men, as husbands, and as the faithful is so important to every aspect of our community.  Repeatedly we see figures in the Bible pursue a sense of purpose without truly knowing where they would go next, but they knew with the guiding light of God, their faith would see them through.  Job finds his way through the expectation of purpose and acknowledgement of his purpose as something difficult to overcome, yet not really knowing why.  Paul, is repeatedly bruised and battered, and yet he perseveres towards the light.  Both men give us true examples of hardship, but for a greater purpose (God), and the subsequent manifestations of purpose, give us men our purpose as well.  Within charity, we see people who are, to no fault of their own, dealing with hardships.  We as charitable people, who will the good of the other because they are other, lift those people up, and even when we can barely afford to lift another up due to our own situations (not exclusively monetarily speaking).

I’m not suggesting you sell all your earthly goods and live as a pauper.  No, rather I’m suggesting a little more prayer, a little more discernment, perhaps a little more time knowing who you really are.  You never know what someone is going through in their own life, and although they seem put together, they may be going through worse times than you and what they truly desire is someone who intently cares what they have to say and willing to understand.

C.S. Lewis spoke about absolutism and relativism and how it pertained to our society, Lindsley, concluded the relative point with which we stand determines our perceptions of everything.  It’s not good enough to conclude that a bad act is determinate of a bad person.  Instead, a poor decision could be the effect of no sense or lack of a proper sense of purpose in life, and all anyone needs at this point is patience and your willingness to point them in the right direction.  I have seen it myself, people want direction where they won’t be met with perceived failure.  This direction is God, earthly failure and perceived failure are two wholly different things.  I would add, without a true objectivity to properly perceive these events, we can never hope to make the good morally needed decisions for our lives.

When I was in my early twenties, I assumed my purpose in life was one of working hard, doing something which would make my career flourish, and that people must know who I am.  So, I pursued everything I could (within reason), where I could perform.  I was willing to make unethical decisions to further who I knew I wanted to be, and was shocked when people didn’t see things the way I did.  I was certain my way was the best way, and anyone with a differing of opinion should be cast aside.  This included everyone, no one was immune to my boorish behavior.  Somewhere along the way, when I finally looked up figuratively, I saw no one was around, except those who truly loved me for me.  They didn’t like my behavior, but they knew there was something more to me than just poor behavior and shallow purposes.  My wife most of all, she wasn’t having any of my behavior, but deep down never gave up on me.  So, I tore down the monument to myself, and ripped out the alter of self-aggrandizement, and found a spark of humility in my faith.  This is my purpose, everyone I encounter, is my purpose.

In the last few months, I’ve really been challenged to enter a new phase of my life, regarding my spirituality.  The actions of some prayers have begun to feel somewhat stale, because of my lack of enthusiasm, I asked myself the question and I have sense asked others, “what do you do when you don’t feel the fire in you to continue your faith journey?”.  Most tell me, it’s a matter of will, or maybe I should take a break, sometimes there is no advice at all.  For a man who is always looking, these did not satisfy my curiosity, and left me with more answers than when I started.  As it just so happens, I was invited to a book group on the above mentioned C.S. Lewis and his Screwtape Letters.  This book group, in its impromptu ability, has been a Godsend.  I could connect with other men, and realize one personal and yet homogenous thing about each and everyone one of us.  We all have a true struggle in life, and we all need a sense of purpose to help us move toward anything which gives us this fire we desire to have.  For me, God is my sense of purpose, but I needed the fellowship of men I trust to help me with my journey.  I would likewise see my part, however small in their lives, as functioning within the same context.  We support one another when questions or tragedies abound, and we laugh when the appropriate time hits as well.  I am truly blessed to know these men, and I will always count them as brothers.

Purpose as a final remark has brought me tremendous joy in my life.  I no longer ask why, as much as state the fact, we don’t know, but it isn’t our place to know, just to live.  Are you living a life which supports your purpose, are you answering those daily questions with solid faith backed actions?  If not, why?  Why are you holding back?  What is holding you back?  I know fear, held me back for many years, fear of the unknown, and fear of the ridicule I would inevitably face as a matter of course in something everyone has a concerted opinion about, yet can’t prove one way or another.  This fear controlled my life, don’t let it control yours, embrace your “today”, pray for your “tomorrow”, and repent for your “yesterday”.  If we all do these things, then we have a really good shot at purposeful life, a joyful life.

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I hope today’s words are something which help you to ask those questions of your life, which should start with “am I doing enough for myself, and those whom I love?”.  May God bless you and your families!!!

 

 

 

God is good, all the time, and all the time, God, is good!!!

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Truth2Freedom's Blog

The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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