Not sure where your thoughts find you today, but lately I’ve been asking myself where my purpose lies. For me, this question usually surfaces around times of change, adjusting, new stages (ahem, school starting). God’s timing never ceases to amaze me, and I pray I never lose that amazement.
As I was further reflecting on my race with Him, another detail came to mind. To give you a picture of the moment, imagine how your body would feel after undergoing continuous aerobic exercise for close to two hours. Imagine how you would feel as your eyes fall upon flags, inflatables, and Columbus skyline, indicating that your time of exhaustion in nearing it’s final stages. Imagine the hope that arises, the strength that follows, and the guts that you know it’ll take to get there. Imagine as you grow closer the sounds that you hear – music, cheering, encouraging words, cows bells (yes, cow bells). Imagine your name, your whole name, spoken clearly and loud enough to be heard over all the noise. Out of the thousands of runners that day, someone has spoken your personal name. Your name mentioned with enthusiasm, in recognition of a job well done. Know what I imagined at this moment? My Jesus. Callin my name. Greeting me in a personal way. Fanfare grander than that of a president. Welcoming me home.
My Jesus, I can’t thank you enough for this reminder. This “scene” simply exceeds by human ability to describe. As I was sharing with my husband moments ago, he stopped me. “Heather, you have got to watch this.” On his blog, he’s posted a video clip that records Mark Hall, lead singer of Castings Crowns, talking about this subject. As I listened, His words of truth, through Mark, hit “home” to me in such a personal, confirming way. He mentioned a scripture that comes to mind frequently when I run, but he added an even greater insight for me. In 2 Timothy, verse 7, Paul talks about fighting the good fight:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Often times, I’ve viewed this “fight” as an event in my life, possibly conquering a test in school, enduring a sports season, persisting through college, accomplishing the planning of an event, a study, often times stages that I have prayed over, through, around, and about. Then what happens as I near the “finish line” of the race? Awwww, that was great, but….what’s next? Mark helped me differentiate between my purpose and my journey. Reading Philippians 3 gives me some more insight on what Paul is describing as his fight. His soul purpose is to know Christ. In Romans 8:29, it is written for us to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. Somewhere along the line, I’ve chosen to perhaps believe the purpose in my life lies in the venue of what I “do”. Perhaps I’ve thought that God created me to go to college, or to be a teacher, or to_______ (fill in your blank). In truth God has created me for a purpose, and that is to bring himself glory. Maybe the question to ask is not what is my purpose, but how am I to be a part of bringing God glory? Perhaps the answer lies in our journey.
May I humbly suggest that through our individual journeys (be it our roles, our careers, the people that surround us), we can choose to become like Jesus, and in doing so, are able to point others to him, all for the sole (or soul) purpose of bringing God the glory. So what does this mean for today? It means that I’m not going to “trip over today, worrying about tomorrow”, to quote Mark Hall. I get to choose where my focus will lie? If I set my sights on getting to know Christ, his purpose of conforming me to the image of his Son will be fulfilled. To borrow a slogan from the 80’s – Christ is life, the rest are just details.
I pray that these words do not come across in a way that seems “over-simplified”, but in my life and for my mind, I need simple. Jesus came for all to know him. It was meant to be simple. If it has become over-complicated, I point the finger at myself. Lord, I pray that today my focus is on you. Will you guide me back to you as I get off course (which I know will happen). Lord my desire is to know you more today than I did yesterday. May I recognize you, and give you the credit (glory) that is yours to have. Amen.