I remember the first time I heard the Missy Higgins song ‘Scar’. I was in the car driving with mum somewhere. I think it was just the two of us – maybe Emily was in the back. It played and I turned it up because it was different, distinctive. I liked it the first time and the second and the third and then it slowly got frustratingly cliche and mainstream. Not enough so that I didn’t buy the CD, because I did. I like piano music.
I don’t listen to it much now but I put it on tonight. I was reading chapter 3 of the Purpose Driven life. ‘All for Believing’ was playing. Despite being a love song, there was curious clash of interest.
“I’m all for believing, if you can reveal, the true colours within,
And say you will be there for me to hold,
When the faith grows old (I’m all for believing)
And life turns cold, (I’m all for believing)
When the faith grows old, (I’m all for believing) and life turns cold.
So if you’re cold I will stay, maybe fate will guide the way.
I believe in what I see and baby we were meant to be,
Just believe. Just believe. Just believe.
Trust in me.”
I don’t know how well I can explain it.
‘The Benefits of Purpose Driven Living’ the chapter segment was called, which sounds like a plug for the manifestation of the author’s ideas. He claims that, “Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life”.
I am sitting here now wondering how much I actually agree with that statement. There is a valid argument behind the general concept.
Hope is important. I can remember multiple times in my life where I would ‘live’ for the next thing I was looking forward to. That is no way to live life as a Christian (and I still stray into using it sometimes), but it helps in someways to pull you through a boring week, a mess of time and a constant of change.
Job is mentioned. He is undoubtably one of a few standout Biblical characters to me. He kept his cool remarkably through his friends ill-timed wisom, maintained honesty, still stuffed up and visibly learnt to understand that we don’t need to know the fullest picture of life, he strove to honor God for who he was despite circumstances.
Did Job know his purpose? Or was his life a simple (heh) acknowledgement of God and obedience to the one that matters most?
Thinking about things now. Do we have to live a purpose driven life?
Or do we just have to live?
How then shall we live?
Am I just simply messing with semantics?
1 Peter 1 has a curious lot to say on the matter of living.
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
I guess what questions my mind is surfacing is, do we live with intention for the future or for now?
The future or the present?
I am not condemning the book as it has a lot of excellent stuff to say.
It points out Ephesians 5 for example.
Be very careful, then, how you liveâ€”not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (v 15-17)
Question though, it seems to take ‘the Lord’s will’ as a ‘will happen’ thing, not a ‘now happening thing’.
Now there’s a lot around ‘running the race’ and ‘pressing on towards the goal’.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
You can’t forget in the importance (I think) of living in the present, the undeniable future that God has planned. His return, or our death to then meet God.
No one ever won a race by sitting and thinking about how they would get there, but what they were doing at that exact moment propelled them towards that point.
Maybe I am just messing with semantics? I can jump puddles (of conclusion). But how can one book present God’s plan for our individual lives beyond the simplicity (or difficulty) of living for and in obedience to him? Or maybe that is the point of the text, before I go ahead and assume the ending, maybe that’s what it’s trying to get across?
Statments like, ‘knowing your purpose prepares you for eternity’ get slightly up my nose. So what if I don’t have a clear idea of ‘my purpose’ beyond living ‘in God’. We have to give a personal account before God. Yes? That screams to me of what I’m doing with my life now, not what I do and don’t know.
Society is future driven, past forsaking or dwelling and present ignoring.
I’m not being apathetic by throwing goals out the window, quite the contrary. What drives my life? I am not utterly sure, but it should be God.
I don’t know why God made us, aside that he is a God of love. That should be all I need to know.
What am I trying to say?
Maybe that, we don’t have to know everything, we don’t have to know exactly what God is doing, but we do have to acknowledge him as our God who does not falter and does not change.
The chapter concludes with Isaiah 26:3,
“You, LORD, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” (TEV version used)
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you”. (NIV)
mind is steadfast/purpose firm. Are they the same?
I just find it interesting.
(and I like semantics, and I like thinking, and I like arguing against stuff – the book really is quite right in many regards- so here you go.)