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Seeking Things Above


If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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2008-07-07

What Am I On The Earth For?

Earth - Atlantic View
Do you ever ask yourself this question?  Did you come up with a good answer?  Do you know why you are here?  Do you know your purpose in life?

I think the older we get, the more important this question becomes to us.  Some may say that's quite tragic.  If we have a purpose in life, wouldn't it be much better to know that purpose when we're 20 rather than figuring it out when we're 60? 

I agree, it's tragic if you squander your purpose for your first 20 years of your life (I think I squandered much more than 20).  However, I'm not sure that means you don't still have a unique purpose at 60.

The problem is that the younger we are, the less we seem to care about a true purpose.  As we get older and see the end starting to approach, we naturally get more reflective.

There are quite a number of people and groups (religions, etc.) that will gladly offer to help you find your purpose.  I did a Google search and here is a small sampling:



Personal Development Expert, Steve Pavlina - write down any self-purpose you can think of on a piece of paper.  Keep doing this until something you write down resonates with you so deeply that you cry.
Bahá'í Faith- In summary, the spiritual reason for our life on earth is to provide us with a training ground; our life is a period of growth during which we focus on the development of our innate spiritual and intellectual capacities.
Want to Know . info - ...you can start to find and develop your own purpose and intentions by stopping for a moment and asking yourself two questions: "What is most important to me in my life? What are my deepest values and beliefs?" Consider inviting divine guidance and your own inner wisdom to help you with this.
Atheist, Aaron Ross Powell - The atheist, on the other hand, sees this life, the one each of us is currently living, as all we get. Death is final. Thus we need to make the most of life and instill great value in every moment because those moments are of limited quantity.
Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren - The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.
You'll notice that the first four statements are more about "you" and the statement from Rick Warren is more about "God".  However, even with the "Purpose Driven Life" explanation, there is still an open question.  If my purpose is for God's purpose, then what is God's purpose?  Does he have a purpose or a task, specifically for me?

Personally, I believe God does have a specific purpose and specific tasks for each of us.  However, I'm not sure we'll ever know all of God's plans for us on this earth until after our time here is done.  I don't think we'll know everything because part of our purpose is to keep seeking.  The key is to seek from God, and he'll make his purpose for you today, known to you today, while tomorrow brings a whole new adventure.


Matthew 6:33-34 (ESV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Jesus is talking about God providing your daily necessities if you seek God's kingdom and his righteousness today.  I don't think I am stretching the context here to make my point.  Isn't knowing your purpose in life, a necessity of life?

Enough preaching...

This is an open question for everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike.  We all are searching for meaning to our life.

So what's your definition of the purpose of life?  More importantly, what is your specific purpose for being here?  Have you thought about it?  Are you searching for it?  Have you found it?

12 comments:

chadholtz said...

Great questions, Tony. I think that I am fulfilling my purpose today, but today is really all I can give.
There are purposes I think all of us have - such as to glorify God, love God with all our heart, soul, and strength(this alone can take a lifetime to understand and can fill all our purpose-driven time), care for mercy and justice, love our neighbor, raise children in the faith...and of course, care for the widow and orphan (you know I had to toss that in there!) These are purposes I think all of us are called to be part of.

But God certainly calls many to specific tasks. I used to think that that task was set in stone and I worried a ton about making the RIGHT decision and picking the RIGHT path. What if I don't? I have since letgo of that anxiety and began asking, "what is my purpose TODAY?" I believe God's plan for us is more dynamic than static. I believe if we mess it up or waste time he picks us up where we are, dusts us off,and then begins again from that point. We can always start...today.

grace and peace,
Chad

Tony said...

Chad -

and began asking, "what is my purpose TODAY?"

- my sentiments as well.

Thanks for coming by.

TLMinut said...

Tony and Chad both - this is really good. This is what set me to wondering about what new job to try for. I had to remember it's not a question of what will provide for us the best, it's a matter of where will I bring glory to God? Can I do that in this place?
But then it's really a matter of who am I no matter where I am.

chadholtz said...

This past Sunday I showed the NOOMA video entitled "Store" to my Sunday school class. In this video Rob Bell talks about our anger and where it leads (usually nowhere) as oppossed to Jesus' anger which led to healing of the man with the withered hand. Bell asked a question that has changed the way I counsel people when they ask me how they can find their purpose or calling. He asked, "what makes you angry?" That is to ask, what is it that you find unjust in the world that gets your blood boiling? Maybe this is what we need to ask ourselves when we are looking for purpose. Bell also adds, profoundly I think, that most people are looking for fights (speaking of the dad who gets all red in the face at a t-ball game) because they aren't in one. Anger is good and powerful if it is over something bigger than ourselves.

peace,
Chad

Ron said...

I'm on this Earth to post on this blog and to maintain my title as top poster :) I am on this Earth to please God, and to tell others about the good news of Jesus Christ, and lead them to Him. I am to be salt and light to others while I'm here, and to serve Him until he takes me home. I have read that some think we sign a contract before we are born and on that contract is what we promised to do while here..not sure where that came from but sounds a little wild to me.

TMinut said...

Ron, I read something like that as well! Not quite the same, but some young woman's life was in turmoil, she exclaimed to her grandmother, "It's not like I ever asked to be born!" Her grandmother looked surprised and said, "Yes you did. Of course you did, the only ones on earth are the ones who asked for the opportunity to come."

The BoBo said...

Is it not possible that our purpose changes over time as we do? Could it not be said that our purpose as children were to provide joy to our parents? Our purpose as teens were to provide misery to our parents :^). Our purpose in our 20's is to seek out our lifelong partner that's why we have so much energy (you know..for the hunt!) and to bear fruit..etc..I think you get the point!

I don't think we are placed on this earth for any one single purpose. We meet people and influence them in many different ways just as they influence us - and we all take this journey together shaping one anothers' purpose.

I am not the same person I was when I was 20, but I was just as sure and confident in what my purpose at 20 was as I am now. I'm sure when I'm 60, after more reflection, my purpose will change...and so will life and everything else around me.

Jena Isle said...

A very enlightening article Tony. It makes one pause for a while and think of the questions you posted here. What is really my purpose in life? Tough question...but I can say - has a very simple answer.

Thanks for sharing.

Jena Isle

Tony said...

Ron\Tinmut -

Interesting. I hope I'm living up to whatever I signed up for. :)

Bobo - I think we're on the same page.

Jena - Thanks.

Ron said...

TMinut- That is wild for sure! It is probably the reincarnation folks maybe....they come back because they signed another contract. :) Who knows. Like Tony said...I hope I am not breaking the contract! ha!
If I look back on my comments of why I am here, I realize I am failing miserably...I need to get busy before the trumpet sounds! And Bobo you are probably right on the money as I can relate to that.

52 Faces said...

I love this question and always have. It's interesting you mention youth not caring as much about purpose. It makes me remember when I was a child and I was absolutely obsessed with the "meaning of life" but my introspection was either disregarded by peers or put down by adults who chalked it up to the impracticality of youth. They chided me to focus on more material matters. (I grew up in a decidedly unspiritual household.) It has taken quite a long while to allow my spirituality a more center stage in my life.

Tony said...

Thanks 52 Faces. I don't think your alone in your childhood frustrations. Many parents fail to help teach their children about the important things in life and leave it to the kids to figure it all out on their own - which sometimes never happens.

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