Archives for posts with tag: Purpose

country-road-at-dusk

I recently had a conversation with a friend who said “I saw so-and-so (a mutual friend of ours) last week and boy are they broken.  Really in bad shape . . . I know this person makes a lot of effort to help others . . . but how can they even think of helping others when they have so many issues themselves?!”

I was so taken aback that all I could say was “I don’t agree!”.

I have not been able to get that statement out of my mind since my friend said it: “. . . how can they even think of helping others when they have so many issues themselves?!”  Consequently I have thought and thought about it and decided to share some thoughts with you.

First of all, unfortunately . . . this is a pervasive perspective that many of us tend to gravitate toward.  When we turn it back on ourselves it says: I won’t attempt to do this or that until I have ______ (you fill in the blank) resolved or worked out in my life.  Not far from the attitude of I’m not good enough (at least until I get my stuff together) to ___________(again . . . fill in the blank).

What a limiting perspective!

I grew up in a large denominational church . . . one with a lot of pomp and ritual . . . lots of responsive readings and ups and downs in the pews.  The minister would parade on to the pulpit with his beautiful robe and collars and a couple of other folks who were clearly his underlings.
The whole setting smacked of the idea that the minister was a holy man . . . a man who had it all together . . . perhaps even less sinless than the rest of us. After all, he would lead us through reciting our Confession of Sins: “Lord, I know that I am lower than a snakes belly in the mud after 10 inches of rain . . .” I can remember leaving that place with the idea that I would never be good enough to _____________ or have it together enough to ________________,

So, this limiting idea has been around in our cultures for eons.

Fast forward a zillion years when Kris and I moved to Southern California and attended great churches like The Crystal Cathedral and Saddleback Community Church for over 20 years. Among a million messages we heard, the over-arching main theme we learned was that Jesus was the only perfect human to ever walk the earth . . . none others before or after Him.   And . . . that God created us to be in relationship with him . . . just as we are . . . warts and all. Translation: Where you are right now in your life . . . God has equipped you perfectly to do whatever He has put in your mind for you to do.

When we decide to wait until we have this or that handled or resolved before we follow through with an idea from God . . . we miss it . . . the amazing blessing that God intends for us to be in other people’s lives!

That’s it . . . end of story!

Here are the “and so’s” to the whole thing:

 

And So . . . “God never wastes a hurt” (Rick Warren). The junk you are going through or have been through makes you perfectly qualified to help others going through similar stuff.

And So . . . When I was in Nicotine Anonymous . . . even though I was still smoking . . . I didn’t have it all together . . . others in the group were still gaining tools from me from watching my struggle!  This is the case in all 12-step programs.

And So . . . We don’t need to be disillusioned with an attitude that we have it all together.  But rather, humble . . . I don’t begin to think that I have it all figured out . . . but here is what I have learned so far . . .

And So . . . Rest in the confidence that you are a work in progress . . . you will never be perfect in all things. The one thing you are perfect for is being the you in God’s plan for your life right now!

 

 

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Jesus talked many times while He was on this earth about our closeness to Him . . . our reliance on Him. But how does that play out in our real, rubber meets the road lives?! On one hand, we know that Jesus is perfect and we are anything but. So does that mean that we should not make a move in our lives without consulting Him and waiting on his direction and guidance?

We have been given free will after all! Does that mean that we go through life making all of our own decisions without ANY input from God . . . except of course when we run into trouble and start our negotiations with God for not consulting Him more. This approach can easily take us to the place of having the illusion of self-sufficiency . . . not having a need for God.

This issue is a fine line for all Christians to walk. We can’t live our lives paralyzed waiting on instructions from God for our every action, yet, we have to have a certain reliance on Him. After all, He IS the creator of the universe . . . He knows better than anyone else how it is that our existence works!

After praying and studying on this, I am of the current thought that it boils down to each of our own personal relationships with God. He knows the right mix of independence vs. dependence each of our own personality requires to best serve Him . . . and when we are in harmony with His will for us . . . that is where we find purpose, peace and confidence.

Weigh in on this. What do you think? What is your experience? Please share!

Thanks for reading!

Pat

As happens with all of us, God is using a friend of mine to get my attention about our lives and deaths.  I mentioned in my last posting that a friend of mine has just discovered that his cancer has come back . . . shown up in a different area.  We all hoped that he was “cured”!

What would it have meant if he had been “cured”?!  I believe that God is showing me that it would have simply meant that this particular potential cause of death has been eliminated . . . at least for the time being.  The fact of the matter is that we are all terminal . . . we are all on a path toward death.

I once heard a comedian do a bit about dying and it really resonated with me and helped me to gain perspective on our lives and our ultimate end.  It is like a horse race with all of the various diseases and conditions competing to be one who takes us out.

Imagine a horse race . . . imagine the announcer at the race track;  and it’s whooping cough taking an early lead, with mumps and measles close behind.  Whooping cough is falling back and it’s a fall from a tree coming on the outside!  But wait, on the inside it’s heart disease, heart disease, and diabetes is coming through the pack!  It’s diabetes, diabetes!  Here comes cancer and it’s gaining in the home stretch!  It’s cancer passing heart disease, passing diabetes, it’s cancer, it’s cancer widening it’s lead . . . cancer . . . cancer . . . and it’s cancer all the way!

As I said before, if we are “cured” of one aliment, it simply means that that particular potential cause of death has been eliminated  . . . for the time being.

I made that statement to a friend of mine and they accused me of being morbid.  Well, perhaps, but our “terminal” condition is something we all need to come to grips with.  Now, I am not saying that our eminent demise is something we should all dwell on . . . not at all.  What I am saying is that it is something we on which we need to have perspective.

In Psalm 39:3-5 the bible says, “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is..  How true this is.  What are we doing with our lives?  Are we wasting time away?  Are we presuming on God that we will be here tomorrow . . . and the next day and the next?  Are we putting off doing the things we want to door know we need to do in order to leave a legacy behind after we’re gone?

Have you been feeling a nudging or hearing a small voice inside of you telling you that you need to do something . . . call that friend . . . talk to that estranged family member . . . join that ministry . . . tell your spouse or kids that you love them . . . or come along side your friend who just learned his cancer is back?

That’s OK, you’ve still got plenty of time . . . hmm . . . remind me . . . just how much time was that?

As always, thank you for reading and for your support.

Blessings,

Pat

THE INVENTOR KNOWS

Think on this; You walk into a room that is totally empty except for a green box.   If you are like me, you would probably be thinking; I wonder what this thing is?  I wonder what this thing is for!  You pick it up and look at all six sides . . . nothing . . . no markings . . . no holes . . . no hinges . . . just a green box.  Perplexed, you pick it up and shake it as close to your ear as you can without hitting your head . . . nothing . . . no rattle . . . no shaking . . . no sound at all!

You set the box down and look around the room hoping that there is a piece of paper that would give you a clue about this mysterious box.  Better yet, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a manual of some sort.  And the manual would tell about the box and what it is for and how to use it?!  Ahh . . . but nothing!

Suddenly, the door to the room opens and a little guy with an Einstein-ish hair-do walks in.  He says, “I see you are looking at my box”.  Your box!  You mean this little green box belongs to you?!  “Not only is it mine” He says, “but I invented it and built it!”

Now you’re cooking with gas!  Better than a piece of paper.  Better even than an owner’s manual.  You have the inventor . . . the creator of this thing right there with you.  Now you can learn everything about this silly little green box.  You can ask what it’s for . . . why did he invent it . . . why did he choose green . . . how do you use it?  Anything you want to know, this guy knows because he is the inventor!  He knows every detail about this thing.

Isn’t that the way we are with God?!  We can bounce around life listening to everyone tell us what they think we should be doing.  There is no shortage of advice when it comes to others telling us what is best for us.   And that can be good also.  The bible tells us to seek Godly council.  But what if we could talk directly to the inventor . . . the creator of this thing we call us?  Then we can find out everything about this thing He created . . . what we are here for . . . what we are supposed to be doing . . . why He created us anyway?!  And get this . . . He even had an owner’s manual written about us . . . The Bible.  We can read the manual and talk directly to the inventor/creator.  No need for a middleman or an intermediary . . . it’s direct connect!

This is one reason why spending a daily quiet time with God and reading the Bible is so important for us to live fulfilled lives.  When we listen, we will learn what He wants us to know about ourselves and our purpose here!  If you aren’t already, give it a try!