Quite often in the world of literature, the opening lines of a story or novel can determine the success or failure of the book. Take for example the following classic opening line: "It was a dark and stormy night..." I believe Snoopy used these words every time he started writing his novel. Who could forget the opening line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." The beginning words of Charles Dickens' famous A Tale of Two Cities. "Call me Ishmael." Three words that begin the classic Moby Dick by Herman Melville. And, of course, probably the most famous and well known opening line of them all - "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth." Genesis 1:1 from the Bible.
Several years ago, Greg and I studied an excellent book in our Sunday Morning Bible Study at church. The book was entitled The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The subtitle was "What on Earth Am I Here For?" The opening line for the book is most memorable: "It's not about you." What a great beginning statement for a volume about the purpose of life. Most people in the world today would respond with the "self-help" book focus: ME! When we as humans begin to question the purpose of our lives, Mr. Warren writes that we tend to think along the lines of, "What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future?" But "WE" are not in control of our lives. The Bible tells us: "For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being." Job 12:10.
Rick Warren writes that when we are confronted with discovering the purpose for which we have been created, we have two options. Number one is speculation. Mr. Warren asserts that most people choose this option. In fact, humans have been doing this for thousands of years. We even have a name for our speculative efforts: Philosophy. Over 20 years ago, Dr. Hugh Moorhead, a Philosophy professor at Northeastern Illinois University queried some 250 of the world's best known philosophers, scientists, writers, and intellectuals as to the meaning of life. Some responded with their best guesses; some just made up answers to the question; and some actually admitted they were "clueless" as to a response. Dr. Moorhead published his findings under the title: The Meaning of Life According to Our Century's Greatest Writers and Thinkers, Chicago Review Press, 1988.
The second option to choose in finding an answer to the question of "why are we here?" is, according to Rick Warren, revelation. He says the easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the inventor, the one who created the item. The same is true for finding the answer for the purpose of life: ask the Creator; ask God. He has even provided us with an owner's manual - the Bible. Mr. Warren says that in the Bible God has explained His five purposes for our lives: 1) we were planned for God's pleasure; 2) we were formed for God's family; 3) we were created to become like Christ; 4) we were shaped for serving God; and 5) we were made for a mission. My purpose in today's post is not to expound upon these 5 purposes. However, hopefully, I've piqued your interest; tickled your curiosity enough for you want to discover more. If so, obtain a copy of Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life. Read and study this volume if you want to experience a life-changing event.
Speaking of "life-changing" event. In my opinion, nothing fulfills that idea more than two circumstances: a life-altering disease and the birth of a baby. I have experienced both in a matter of weeks. This on-going blog is about the first. And this post offers me the opportunity to mention the second. Our youngest son, Scott and Lisa, his wife, recently added to their brood. Last month they welcomed into their family a son named Seth Gregory. Their three daughters now have a brother. Holding that new, little living bundle in my arms automatically got me to thinking about the purpose of life. And the exciting thought is that God is Seth's creator and Seth was in His care before he was even born. (Isaiah 44:2a) Praise the LORD! Long before we were conceived by our parents, we were conceived in the mind of God and He has a purpose for our lives. Little Seth as he grows will make many plans for his life, but the LORD's purpose will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21) My prayer for Seth is that he develops a life long relationship with his Heavenly Father and his Savior Jesus Christ and that his knowledge of God grows and grows. For "without God life makes no sense." (Andrei Bitov, Russian novelist)
Next time, I'll talk about "side effects" as my journey continues...
|"Call me Seth"|