The Deeper Question

texturized show jumpingI’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.  It’s a mystery.  As a child and teen I went through phases of wanting to be a pilot, an Olympic equestrian, and the President (not necessarily in that order).   None of those panned out.

I can’t say I’m sad that none of those career paths worked out for me.  (Well, maybe a little bit about the equestrian business.) I never wanted to be a teacher, but I’m glad I was one.

My brother once commented that many of today’s jobs didn’t exist when we were in school.  It’s true.  A decade ago there was no TCK Coordinator position at WorldVenture.  I couldn’t have set my sights on it if I wanted to when I was in college.  I’m certain many jobs that will exist ten years from now have hardly been dreamed of today.

“What am I going to be when I grow up?” really points to a deeper question—
“What is my purpose?”  It’s a question I’ve stressed over at times.  Certainly earning money to pay bills and provide entertainment is a good thing, but it’s not everything.  Knowing my purpose goes far beyond that.

It’s not a new question.  The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us the chief goal of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  John Piper changed up the answer a little by stating man’s chief end is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.  Yes, there’s a distinction, but I think they’re both good goals.

I think the best answer to the question “What’s my purpose?” comes straight from God.  In Micah 6:8 we’re told ” . . . to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”  What a powerful verse!

It doesn’t matter if I’m a pipe fitter or a president, a trapeze artist or a teacher, a professional student or a professional wrestler.  My purpose is simple to state—act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God.  Walking that talk takes a lot more effort and intentionality.

When I’m faced with questions that drift towards the existential, this is a good check.  Are my actions ones that promote justice?  Do I want the underdog to shed that title?  Do I not just accept mercy, but do I extend it?  Is justice balanced with mercy?  Most importantly do I walk humbly with God?  Do I remember he’s God and I’m not?  Am I intentional about spending time with him and listening to him?  Does it show in all the areas of my life?

I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do when I grow up, but I know what my purpose is.

photo courtesy of Patrick Bouquet

FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG(I’m participating in Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week she’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith related topic.  Today’s post is my riff on “God’s Purpose for Me.”   If you’re interested in the notes others added to this Faith Jam, go check out her site and follow the links.)

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5 Responses to “The Deeper Question”

  1. allieSeptember 30, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    I have that verse on a poster in my room. It is both comfortingly simple and challengingly hard to put into practice. I like the thoughts that you had, and the question about “what is my purpose?” It really makes me think.

  2. SherylSeptember 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Allie—that’s so well said, “comfortingly simple and challengingly hard . . . ” Thanks for sharing that; it’s so right on!

  3. Faith Barista | BonnieOctober 1, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Sheryl, You hit the nail on the head — what we do is just the wrapper — our purpose doesn’t change — and different aspects get emphasized … I see how you’re in tune with this inner Voice and how encouraging this insight is. Thanks for adding your riff on this meaningful topic! Enjoyed it!

  4. CherylOctober 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m supposed to preach on that Micah text Oct. 16th. This gives me a great push toward “getting off the couch” and starting to work on it!!
    Love you Soul!

  5. SherylOctober 4, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    I wish I could hear you preach, Soul! That would be pretty amazing. Of course, I have a feeling I’d hit my “language wall” about halfway through your sermon. I’m glad I could help you take a step or two. Love you back!

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