Thursday, November 12, 2015

I'm not Rick Warren, but...

I've started and stopped this post for the last 20 minutes. I've deleted more than that many typed sentences. But this is what I've come to today. 

I'm encouraged by purpose today. I think in our world, we are driven by purpose. Rick Warren wasn't confused when he titled his famed book by these very words. Note: I actually haven't read the book. However, I know that now more than ever, we live in a world where individuals want to define themselves and be defined. We want titles. We want establishment. We want affirmation.

Within this battle for purpose, there is a great tension. What seems to happen most of the time is that we search for that bit of purpose we think to set us apart from the rest only to realize that it's just not enough. Someone was better or that something just didn't fit the bill. We are left wanting and wondering what is in store for our lives that will just seal the deal to make us feel like we have enough purpose. 

This is something I have been thinking about quite a bit lately as I have taken on a new role as a wife. I began asking the question, "What is my purpose as a wife?" The question might take on a different form for you - "What is my purpose as a single? as a store clerk? as a mother? as a teacher? The list could go on. I asked married friends, single friends, my husband, and primarily the Lord. The question never seemed to be answered in just the way I intended for it to be. Because when we ask a question like this, we are wanting steps and processes to make us the very best wife, teacher, store clerk, mother etc. 

Can I offer something here? Can I offer what I think the answer to my question might be? We don't have purpose in these niches. They are roles that we play within a greater PURPOSE for our life. The psalmist writes in the 146th Psalm "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live." This is our purpose! Our purpose is to praise the Lord; our purpose is to worship Him.

It hit me like a ton of bricks one morning when I was sitting with Jeremy waiting to get my military ID. The lady behind the desk was very friendly. I am a people watcher- I realized and took note of how very different I was from her. Our physical appearance was just not alike. Can't we just praise the Creator in those moments when we realize how creative He is? Anyway, I was battling in my mind what my purpose was as a wife. Then in that moment it's like the Holy Spirit just directed me to the differences of the people sitting all around me. He created us to be worshippers- not wives, not mothers, not store clerks, not singles. Those are merely the roles He has given within a season. Our purpose is that we were created for the reason of worshipping our Father. 

When I want to wallow in self pity because my desires aren't being met, He has a greater purpose.
When I want to rejoice in a small victory, He has a greater purpose.
When I feel like a failure, He has given me a greater purpose.
When I feel like everybody else has, and I have not - He has a greater purpose.
When I want to turn inward and deny His goodness, He has given me a greater purpose than that.
When I can't make sense of this crazy world, I trust that He has a greater purpose.

Be encouraged today that our purpose - my purpose and your purpose- is much greater than what our finite minds think. The psalmist knew he was to declare the praises of the Lord. Trust the Lord. His purpose is right - regardless of your role in this moment of your life. The purpose remains the same - ... to "praise the Lord as long as I [we] live."

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