Purpose – It’s simpler than we make it.

Purpose. What were we put on earth for? Did God simply plunk us down without an instruction manual, just a cheery ‘good luck!’? Almost 20 years ago Rick Warren wrote one of the bestselling non-fiction books of all time – The Purpose Driven Life – in an effort to answer these very questions.

In small groups and individual conversations beyond count, the question always seems to boil down to one thing – am I living the life I am supposed to? We wonder if we have chosen the right career, the right spouse, the right city to live. What is our ministry, what cause are we to lead, or found, or support? We pray, we seek, we read and study the scriptures and hear…crickets. God, where are you to guide us on these incredibly major decisions and life choices? We need some help here!

A group of guys I meet with regularly on Saturday mornings for many years has taken up the question recently. Actually, we have taken up the book in search of the answer to the question. Following numerous bagels and countless cups of coffee, we are only marginally further in our understanding. We agreed and understood that without God, life has little meaning or purpose and without purpose we simply meander through life trying to garner whatever pleasure we can before we die. But what is our purpose and how do we discover it?

As is often my practice, I took a long walk after a recent Saturday to ponder and process. Somewhere on the trail, an epiphany, an incredibly simple epiphany, hit me.  I shared it with the guys and upon further review, I decided to share it here, unedited and just as it poured out to me and subsequently shared with the group:

What if we have our search for our ‘big’ purpose and our ‘little’ purposes reversed?  What if our big purpose is right in front of us – to love God, love others and be Christ in all we think, say and do?  Whether at home, at work, at play, in our marriage, in our friendships, in raising our kids? In the little things or the big things.  This is our big purpose.

Once we discover, accept and act on that, I believe God will unveil things that we previously sought as our ‘big’ purpose, but are actually the ‘little’ ones – career, ministry, whether to get involved in this or that cause. 

Flip the big for the little and it will all flow. Our legacy is the lives we live, until we hear ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’  We will have peace in both, knowing Christ already lives in us, we just need to let Him out.

That’s it.  Seems pretty simple now that I look back on it.