Living On Purpose

You are one of a kind.  Think about it, you have a finger print that is uniquely you.  Our DNA, the code that regulates the information encoded our genetic material is unique to each of us, unless we have an identical twin.  God only made one you – and one of me – and he did it on purpose.  But we are not just unique because of our genetic code.  Our life experience is unique to you and to me.  Nobody else has exactly the same relational or situational experiences, and while you might have shared your formal learning experiences with others, informal learning results from your unique journey through life.  So I have to ask you, “What is your purpose”?

This question led the now-famous pastor, Rick Warren, to ask and answer three vital questions that he believes each of us must answer: Why am I here?  Does my life matter?  What is my purpose?  Check out the first lesson in his Purpose Driven Life series here to hear directly from Rick. You might want too order The Purpose Driven Life here.  Discovering our unique purpose answers what author Simon  Sinek identifies as the great “Why” question as the cause undergirding everything we do.  To discover how his discovery of his unique “Why” changed his life, watch this video. You might want to purchase his book, Start With the Why.

Thirteen years ago Jayme Hall and Phil Appleby from Outflow Saint John were asking themselves a similar question.  What is my (our) purpose that God has made us for?  This is the three pronged purpose they discovered: restore dignity, renew life, realize hope.  This purpose has driven everything they have achieved ever since.  Out of nothing has emerged a ministry that operates a men’s shelter for the homeless, feeds more than 600 meals each year, equips those who experience employment barriers with needed skills and the confidence to enter the job market, and engages more than 100 volunteers while employing 30 staff members who have adopted this shared purpose.

Have you heard of Justin Bieber?  I’m sure you have.  You probably recognize the name as that of a famous young Canadian-born entertainer whose life seemed like a complete mess a few short years ago.  Have you heard that he has chosen to believe in Jesus and his life has been changed to the point he is living a new purpose?  I found a music video of Justin Bieber that communicates his new purpose as he learns to walk in faith, and the struggle he has in facing temptation as a new Christian.  When I first watched the video, I struggled with the imagery as young women threw themselves at him.  I struggled more when I heard his voice at the end speaking about how he sometimes gets it wrong, giving in to the temptation and having to repent and start over.  For me it was too raw, too real.  It hit too close to home.  This is the kind of thing we keep hidden and don’t talk about.  But when I thought about it more I realized that this battle of living out the high purpose, for so many of us, been buried under the layers of our own failure.  With exceptional creativity, Bieber just shines a light on it.

This week is Easter week when we will celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  Many of us are good with the death and burial, but not so great with resurrection.  We say “Yes and Amen” to the ugliness of sin, but we live like our lives are still buried by our own sin.  Listen, my friend, God calls us to live out the unique purpose for which he has made us, walking and living in the hope of the resurrection.  God has graced us with forgiveness in Jesus death and in his resurrection and he has justified us to live God’s unique purpose for us in a new and resurrected life.  

So what is your one-of-a-kind purpose?  What is your “Why”? You are here because the Creator made you for himself – and because the Greatest of All loves you dearly, your life matters.  All that is left is discovering your God-given purpose.  And that is worthy of our attention.

I would love to hear your reaction to these things as well as your comments on living life on purpose.  Let’s start a conversation.  Have you identified your life purpose?  What is it?  Are you wondering what your life purpose is?  I would like to hear your feedback.