So here’s where I stand. I was created with a purpose. Everyone is. This implies several things. First, let me say that it means I have a creator. As Saint Paul writes to the church at Colosse, “all things were created by Him and for Him,” that “Him” being Jesus Christ, the Son of God. “For Him.”
That brings me to my second point. I was created with a purpose. The primary characteristic of this purpose is that the purpose is not mine, but His. I do have a purpose for my life. However, this purpose did not originate with me or in me. It originated with God Himself. Again, Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “Our purpose is to please God.” Many times in Scripture I read of how God knew me before the world was made, how he formed me personally in my mother’s womb, how he called me before I even took my first breath. Not only do I have a calling from God that I am to walk in and obey, but I was also born with this calling. Even more astounding, I was created because of it!
This revelation is at once encouraging and frustrating. At first, I see that, yes, I do have someone to live for, a reason for existence. I don’t have to live in mediocrity. I don’t need to bother with unfulfilling pursuits. I am somebody. My life will count.
Then I realize how utterly in the dark I am about who I am and what I’m supposed to do. After all, God’s the one who has a purpose for my life. So far, he hasn’t come straight out and told me what it is. What does God want from me? That seems to be to operative question. I can look to His Word. I have. I do. But I find little of the specifics in there. There’s no section in there called “My plan for Shawn’s life.” So what am I to do?
I believe there is an answer. Jesus said, “Follow me.” That’s the answer. Follow Him. It really is that simple. And that hard. Simple, because all we have to do is what Mary did when Jesus came to visit. She did the one thing that was necessary: she sat at Jesus’ feet. She listened to what he said. She enjoyed time with her friend and Lord. They engaged in conversation. They cultivated that relationship. Mary knew more and more who Jesus was, his personality and character, what he would think of her in any given situation. She knew Him. She loved Him. She made Him her purpose.
For Whom was I created? Whose purpose am I to fulfill? I can only attempt to be fulfilled in my existence if I diligently seek Him. In all situations, temptations, with any question I may have, I must come to Him. He is the Author and Perfector of my faith, of my very existence.
Being a Christian helps tremendously in my quest for identity and searching out my purpose. In becoming a Christian I have become a new creation. I am a child of God. I am an ambassador of the truth. This is incredibly freeing. Knowing who I am, I now have no worries of what I should do. I have already established that I follow Christ. So I simply go where He leads at any given moment. And now that I have established who I am, the question of what I do is answered. Wherever I am, I live as a child of God, holy, and an ambassador of truth, sharing the gospel.
There are other implications as well. If I was created with a purpose by the same God who created this universe in which every element works together as it does, then there must be certain characteristics and abilities bestowed upon me which are directly related and particularly suited to God’s purpose for my life. This is not to say that my availability is not just as important as my ability, if not more so. (Even with every endowment in place, if I were busy about my own agenda I would be of little or no use to God who could just as well find and equip someone else to accomplish his purposes.) Seeing that I would naturally have been equipped, even from conception in the mind of God, with certain gifts, I could conceivably find clues to my God-given purpose by means of simply assessing who and how I am.
Now, I have a purpose given by God. To fulfill it, I must follow Christ. To hinder it, all I have to do is go my own way and do my own thing. That’s sin. And that’s why sin is sin–missing the point. Sin hinders both my relationship to God and, thus, my fulfilling His purposes for my life. My sin can also hinder someone else from these same things.
So here’s my dilemma. Have I reduced Christianity to something less or other than it really is? Have I taken my own theories and made Christianity fit them? Or have I simply made my intellectual leanings fit into Christianity. Do my philosophies and Christian theology mix at all? Have I reduced my beliefs to some sort of quest for self-actualization? Surely, these are not the extent of my beliefs. Jesus is central. Worship and reverence vital. But in trying to make sense of my own life have I oversimplified and compartmentalized my religion as well? In short, does “I was created with a purpose,” along with all of my inferences, hold water? Can I hold to these beliefs and still say I have resolved to know nothing else except Jesus Christ and Him crucified?