ARUnderstanding the Purpose of Your LifeYou can have your sights set on some destination ahead, and still feel lost. You can work hard to materialize the image in your mind and still wake up in mid-life feeling unsettled and unsatisfied. So how do you find the true purpose for your life in this world, and beyond?You can have your sights set on some destination ahead, and still feel lost. You can work hard to materialize the image in your mind and still wake up in mid-life feeling unsettled and unsatisfied. So how do you find the true purpose for your life in this world, and beyond?
Some people go through life with their eyes on the next destination. Primed in childhood by the question, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" they view each present moment as merely a stepping stone to the next goal or achievement. Some break their lives into five- and ten-year stages, with each one marked by a milestone—graduation, marriage, promotion, and so on—approximating the expectations which society has set. They measure success by how well they meet those milestones, by the letters, degrees, names, and numbers accumulated at each stage.
What if you have your sights set on some destination ahead, and still feel lost? What if you work hard to materialize the image in your mind and still wake up in mid-life feeling unsettled and unsatisfied? Suddenly, you may face the terminus of your life and have no sense of where you are going. That’s because some people focus ahead without stopping to consider where they presently are. Just as a compass has two ends, you need to know where you now stand in order to know where you are going. In order to figure out what you will be, you must first understand who you are.
If you build your life around the things you can see, around the goals and expectations of society, the meaning of your life will shift as the things around you change. You will still be in need of an anchor. Your identity as a child, a student, an employee, a sibling, a spouse, a supervisor, a parent, a friend changes as time passes, as you age, as situations alter, as people pass on. How you prioritize these roles shapes the way you lead your life.
There is only one relationship you can have that does not change, because on the other end is one who is unchanging, ever present, and everlasting. When you set your relationship with God as the anchor of your life, then your priorities and direction will fall into place. Once you realize your identity as His child, you will know where you are headed, and what you must do. Although your external circumstances may change, your internal direction will already be set—its path and purpose stretching eternally, surpassing the transient objects of this life.
The Lord Jesus Christ knew very well where He came from, and hence where He was going. "I proceeded forth and came from God," He said. "I know where I came from and where I am going" (Jn 8:42; 8:14). Even though friends and family passed in and out of His life, others misunderstood His identity, and circumstances around Him changed, His purpose was clear and unwavering. Having fulfilled the will of God unto His death, He was victorious and received eternal glory. To those who believed in Him, He said, "I go to prepare a place for you… where I go you know, and the way you know" (Jn 14:3-4). That way is through the way He, Jesus Christ, established, for He declared, "No one comes to the Father except through Me." Won’t you be reconciled to God today? Then you will know not only where you now stand, but your ultimate destination.
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