Recently I was listening to an amazing podcast.
Rob Bell was interviewing Steve Chalke.
It was one of the best podcasts I have heard.
Why? Chalke just had something.
A way of living or maybe even something more; purpose.
I think for most of us, we struggle with this.
We all want to have a reason WHY WE are here.
Why ME and not susan down the street or another Mother Teresa?
Let’s talk about Mars.
A few years ago, NASA put out a call for people to sign up and be the first to go to Mars. Hundreds of thousands signed up.
Then NASA reduces those thousands to a hundred.
Then, those chosen will train for 10 years to prepare for the mission.
Then NASA chooses 24 to actually go on the mission.
You train for 10 years for a chance to go to Mars. 10 years.
For a chance to go.
That isn’t even the best part!
It’s a one way trip.
Yup. You are not coming back.
Yet, seeing that little detail did not phase thousands of people. They were fully aware they were giving their lives to the possibility of doing something great. They were laying their lives out for the chance to further humanity and for the possibility of helping further mankind.
As humans, we constantly look for meaning and purpose. For some of us, we try to give meaning to things that really don’t matter as if they were our purpose; money, fame, toys, being the fittest, being the biggest, being the best and on the list goes.
But these things are not why you are here.
In fact, they do nothing but try to fill the gap we feel of finding our purpose.
The trailer for the Mars 100 is out. As the 100 are being interviewed, they have their reasons for signing up. Some say its to inspire, others say because its an adventure of the century. But what do they all now have? Purpose.
In the book I am currently reading (the subtle art of not giving a F%ck), it talks about how all forms of media glorify the best of the best. How we all become a victim of mass-media-driven exceptionalism. Only the best at anything gets to go viral or to be acknowledged. So we aspire to be the best, and feel entitled to be so! Only to find out, that it takes years of practice and that some people are just gifted. This then kills our drive to do anything simply because we can not be like the ones we look up to.
Funny thing is,
“All of this ‘every person can be extraordinary and achieve greatness’ stuff is basically just jerking off your ego… the vast majority of your life will be boring and not noteworthy, and that’s ok” - Mark Manson
So why did I quote that?
Sometimes we look to find our purpose in doing ‘stuff’ that doesn't actually matter.
We spend trillions of dollars trying to go to another planet because we don’t want to fix the ones here. I am convinced that if we as a human race said that we will no longer explore other planets until we first can achieve some sort of world where hunger, famine and thousands do not die because they don't have access to clean water. Only then we would be better suited for colonizing another planet!
We need to take care of ours first!
Get to the point right?!
My point is this, if we have everything, every desire, money to buy everything and yet still feel empty; does a journey to Mars fill that void? no. But we can learn from something here;
Our purpose here is to love God and love others.
Shocking I know. Over simplified? No. Here is why…
We spend our lives doing ‘stuff’. We do this because we think its what people do and what we should be doing. We don’t ask big questions like, “Why are we here?” because I think we are a little afraid of the answer.
If we ask, then we have to journey.
If we journey, we might find some truth that we may not like.
So, we don’t ask.
But in not asking, we give up something greater, our unique God-given purpose.
It may be not the norm these days, but I do think we have a creator(s). I think this creator(s) came in the form of a man named Jesus and in him we see who these creator(s) really are; a loving, caring God that has loved us, given us free will and partners with us to bring his kingdom of love to earth.
The thing is, for many of us, we haven't given our lives up to this idea. What we do is hold on to the idea that we will find purpose in ‘stuff’ that not only doesn’t matter, but hinders us from actually knowing why WE are here, now.
I don’t know all the reasons why I am here now.
I often wonder why.
I also struggle with the why because there are days that I do not feel like I want to even be.
Yes, I sometimes get low.
Yes, sometimes I feel not worth much.
And that is ok.
It is in those times, when I don’t ‘feel’ my best or worth anything that I choose faith (to see me and God sees me). It is when I choose to believe that out of 7 billion people on this planet, God wanted me here. He made me uniquely and for a purpose.
There are days I loose sight of the ‘why’ of my purpose.
It is what we do.
We get sidetracked.
We get lost doing the same stuff that we used to to fill the void instead of letting those things go.
So, what do we do?
I invite you to a kingdom.
What is this kingdom?
A warning first:
If you are content with your life, do not want to know God or his purpose, then thanks so much for reading this far! Hope you have an amazing day! For those who want to continue, this may be a one way trip. You may have to loose or let go of things in your life; hate, fear, insecurity, identity in stuff and even the entitlement we hold so dear. As well, you will need to become about serving others as a demonstration of love. Oh, as well, you will be expected to love your enemies and forgive others like you are passing out free skittles. You may have to care about the planet and start caring about eradicating poverty. You may have to start getting involved with a community both relationally and physically. There also may be some sort of financial expectation to be discussed later :)
What do you think? Still in for finding your God-given purpose?
If yes, read on. If no, thanks for reading this far :)
First, the sign up; surrender. You can not say to someone, ‘you drive’ and not get out of the drivers seat. So, however you want to say this, surrender driving your life. It is scary. It takes work to even be a passenger, but it is so worth it. Soon, you will trust the process, put down the window and rock out to tunes as God helps you see why you are here and what you are here to do!
Second, Love: God loves you. No conditions attached. It is our goal to believe it. Thats all. If we simply believe it, we will want to experience it and share it. Love is like that. I heard a speaker say recently, “You are always surrounded in the ocean of Gods love. Every moment, every day.” (if you have a ‘but what about’ then head to this post:)
Third, communication: Spend time each day listening and learning how to hear, pray, talk with God. That is a real thing I promise. Then find a community that helps you grow and the last part of communication is reading the scriptures. This will all help.
If this is the journey you are up for?
Then welcome to the mission (the kingdom), let us know so we can throw you a welcome party!
The story continues….