I attended a funeral this past Saturday. Not the most cheerful blog topic. However, a funeral is a natural time and place where we stop to reflect on: Did he or she know where they were going? What kind of life did he or she lead? And, did he or she fulfill their purpose?
Thankfully, the woman being honored was a Christian, and she knew where she was going. By all accounts she led a life of joy, and her purpose was fulfilled as not only a wife, mother, and grandmother, but through using musical gifts as her ministry. There’s sadness in saying good-bye to someone who could have lived many more “earthly” years. However, do any of us truly know our earthly “expiration date?”
This topic, what on earth am I here for? is the basis of a church-wide Bible study the next 40 days. Have you joined a small group, yet? If not, it’s not too late to join. In your small group, not only will you get the book and study guide, but the opportunity to discuss these deep questions which sometimes we haven’t looked at, or haven’t looked at in a long time. You might know your purpose, or maybe your purpose has changed or evolved over time. Or, maybe what you thought was your purpose isn’t really God’s purpose for your life. Or, maybe you don’t even know where to start!
This first week focused on how we matter to God. We’re made for God, for God’s purposes; one of which is to love Him. As Christians, we know there’s an eternal life, or after life. But when the lesson, led by pastor Rick Warren, mentioned life is a preparation for eternity, I had to pause and think about that.
How often do I, in the here and now, get focused (obsessed) with non-eternal issues? Or get stuck ruminating over the past? Or idle my time away, worrying about the future? This isn’t to say stop attending to the daily business of life…but have we lost our eternal perspective?
It reminds me of when astronauts look down from space on the beautiful blue marble earth, and how different life must look from that distance. God wants us to view our lives from an eternal perspective. Even then, life often drags me back into that little ant pile where I’m pushing grains of sand around, wondering if I’m making a difference.
The study guides us to find our purpose in God. He knows what our purpose is. This week’s memory verse tells us, “I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.” (Isaiah 44.2)
While none of us want to contemplate our earthly demise, or our funerals, at the end of this life, do we know where we’re going? What kind of life did we lead? And, did we live out our purpose? I believe there’s great reassurance in finding answers to these questions.