Aug 22 2012

We, Too, Have a Purpose

Last night I was reading a book that talked about how God made everything in Creation for a purpose.  This is a thought that has been addressed in this blog several times.  We have affirmed that everything God made is good and serves a purpose whether we realize what that purpose is or not.  We have also noted numerous times that there is a “web of life” and that everything is connected one way or another.  Somehow everything that God has created makes that web possible, which again means everything God has made is good.

I was thinking about all of this when it dawned on me that from time to time we need to reverse our thinking and let these same truths remind us that we, too, have a purpose in life.  Recognizing that everything else in nature has its purpose should help us see and remember that there is meaning and purpose in our lives as well.  I happen to believe that this is very important.  Unfortunately, many people today live their lives wondering why they are here or whether their life has any purpose.  The Scriptures declare that we are not here by accident and that every one of us has a purpose.  Like snowflakes we are all unique and that means God’s plan for our life will, likewise, be unique.  God’s plan for you and me will not be exactly alike.  Still, the Bible does indicate a number of areas where God’s purpose for us is the same.  I’ll mention here just two.

First, as members of the human race we are all called to care for the earth.  Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  Today we all share Adam’s task.  We, too, are called to be good stewards of the earth.  That is part of our purpose.

Second, we are all called to do good works.  In his letter to the Ephesians Paul says, “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (2:10)   You and I were not created to just hang out here on earth and have a grand time.  No, we were created to do good works.  We were placed here to serve one another and to help care for the earth.  We were created to make a difference.  It is here where our paths might diverge.  God may intend for you to focus on some particular need and me another.  If we all focused on the same thing many needs would go left unmet.  That’s why it is important that once we realize that we do have a divine purpose in life that we seek to discover what that particular purpose is for us and then fulfill it.

God has made everything for a purpose.  A careful observation of nature reveals this.  Everything but humans fulfills their purpose automatically.  We humans are different; we were granted free will.  That means we can choose to fulfill our purpose or we can choose not to.  Needless to say, many people choose not to fulfill their divine calling.  Most of the problems we see in the world today stem from people’s failure to be faithful to God’s will for their lives.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is there is hope for a better world because we still have the free will to choose to do what is right and fulfill our purpose.  Both God and Creation call us to do just that.  The question is, will we?



Jun 19 2011

Finding Our Niche

Yesterday Rob and I spent the morning photographing the tide pools on Trinidad Beach in California. It was a very low tide so we were able to see and photograph a large variety of subjects. Since I do not live near a coast I always enjoy the opportunity to visit tide pools when I travel. It is a fascinating world all in itself.

I always marvel at the diversity of life forms found in tide pools. At one point yesterday I commented to Rob that no one has ever had a good enough imagination to dream up the things we were seeing. I find in the wonderful variety of flora and fauna a visible testimony to the Creator’s greatness.

As we photographed a large rock covered with barnacles and a mixture of seaweeds we discussed how everything God has created has its role or place. Everything He made has a purpose and fills its own niche. In doing so every created thing honors our heavenly Father.

I’m not so sure, however, you can always say that about humans. Because we have been given free will we can choose to do what we want to do instead of what God made us for. Unfortunately, many choose to do exactly that. When we fail to fill our niche we fail to be what God made us to be. We also fail to bring honor to God.

What was man made for? What is our purpose? These questions have been discussed and debated for centuries. I cannot give a complete answer but I am convinced that we are given a great clue when Jesus answered a man’s question as to what was the greatest commandment with the response, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Furthermore, he added, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

If we would focus more energy on fulfilling these two commandments I cannot help but believe that we would at the same time be fulfilling the primary purpose for which we were created. We have free will because love cannot be coerced. We must choose to love God, others, and ourselves. When we do this right we honor God just like the rest of Creation. When we do this right we find our niche.


(The images here were taken yesterday at Trinidad Beach in California.)