Have you ever heard of anyone who wrote a eulogy that was read at their own funeral? A little while ago I heard of a man who after reading an inspiring life story at a funeral, described how it had been written over twenty years before by his deceased friend, who had decided this was the way he wanted to be remembered. He wrote it out and read it each day, living out each aspect of his life, the social, relational, spiritual and business areas until he gradually became the man he wanted to be.
Most of us get up in the morning and may work out what we are going to do that day. This man was different. He had a vision for the person he wanted to become, so he started living the rest of his life with the end in mind. He eventually became the person he described.
How do we find a sense of purpose that motivates us to do this?
Of course we need to have a feeling of self worth, a security in who we are.
The Bible describes how God sees each of us as special, each with a unique place in His creation and purpose, people with whom He craves an intimate relationship, people who are so precious to Him that He will do whatever it takes to gather them to Him. David wrote in Psalm 139:13-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
After reading this, if God knows who I was before I was born, if I was that special to Him then, if every moment was laid out before a single day was past, why shouldn’t I feel confident of His ability to guide me to the place where day by day I am becoming the person He wants me to be?
So am I being intentional about the kind of person I want to be remembered as?
Can I look back and see some progression in my life?
I have taken the time to write out my core values, which I read often and will guide me, but a list is impersonal, and rather than guide, can quite easily become law unless my focus is on my future goal.
Sometimes it seem that I take one step forward and two steps back, but I do know that I have grown closer to Him in the last five years, and look forward each day to the new things He brings across my path.
Is the end of this journey really the end? I don’t think so. We are body mind and spirit, and once this body has fulfilled its purpose, we keep travelling, but in a completely different dimension.
So this is only the beginning. This stage of life is merely part of the preparation of a life that has purpose and never ends. The Apostle Paul says, “Philippians 3:12-16 New Living Translation (NLT) 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
The Apostle Paul was intensely focussed on the goal ahead, and even today points us higher in our aspirations, not merely to be the person we want to be, but to grow into the person that God wants us to be.
Faith looks to the past & sustains courage, hope looks to the future & keeps desire alive, but for today love to nurture me comes from abiding in Him. This can be a trite statement or a living experience – no fence sitting. Abiding is passive – no effort of mine. Jn 15 encourages us to abide or rest in Jesus. v9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
Where are you going today? How are you going to achieve it? How will it affect your life in the future?
Good questions, but useful only if we act on them.