Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 7, 2012

on purpose

Without a doubt, the last two weeks have been eventful.  I went on a business trip, came home and then headed out again.  In the process, I enjoyed wonderful people and hopefully fulfilled my purpose for traveling.  Inevitably however, when I spend extra time on the road, adventures arise. Trying to make it back to the Atlanta airport before I re-filled the gas tank led me to one bar on the gas gauge and into the roughest section of Atlanta.  I also battled my tired self in forgetting to replace toothpaste and hair gel for my second leg of the journey.  Imagine realizing that dilemma at 6 am!  And to top it off, I have endured an infected cyst on my back during both trips.  Now, before you begin feeling sorry for me, I must tell you that my wife suggested an antibiotic between the trips.  But I am a man … and I paid dearly for it during the last week.   My trips were made complete, however, by a marvelous treasure (book) given to me just a few weeks before traveling.  It challenged my thinking on the why of our lives.

When I think about the why of our lives and the underlying purpose that causes each of us to respond to life in certain ways, Abraham comes to mind.  He was a man who trusted when he literally didn’t know where God would lead him. He trusted when God let him know that he would be having a child, even though he was past age.  And at the pinnacle of testing, Abraham trusted when God demanded his son Isaac for a sacrifice.  Without faith, any of these circumstances would have been mind-numbing. Abraham lived with a purpose … by faith to follow the leading of God.  Without question his life was filled with failure (just like ours), but the over-riding view I glean from Abraham is that he was a friend of God and lived on purpose for God.  There was a why to his life as well.  Why did he do what he did? Why did he trust when things looked bleak?  Why would he trust when he was asked to sacrifice the son of promise?  Because I think the why of his life was tied to the purpose of his existence.

Could I be so bold as to ask you why do you do what you do?  Are you living on purpose with a firm resolve to accomplish God’s design for who you are?  You know — He does have a purpose for you, and there should be a why to your daily existence.  Far too often life is about filling space, doing a job, making a living and moving on to the next week … then repeat the routine.  You and I were built for a purpose, and not to fill space or just do a job.  And we should never use our jobs as an excuse, because they can be a place where our purpose thrives.  Whether in your home, your church, or at your job, is the why of what you do tied to the purpose of your life?  Abraham trusted God’s purpose for him, and that is why he could respond in faith against all odds.  Living on purpose can settle our why questions.

Your purpose in life is rooted in two key truths: You were made for a relationship with God and a relationship with others.  Knowing Him starts everything.  When your foundation is on Him, your purpose for living is to fulfill your God-given DNA in relationships.  Sure we have to make money, go to work and live life, but it should be in the context of our purpose.  People at your workplace, your club and in your home should be observers of a faith that is the foundation of all you do.  The why’s of your life should extend from your foundation.  Could it be that your routine (chaotic or calm) of living has become your real purpose?  If so, when you ask “why do I do what I do?”, there are no good answers.

My take is that Abraham lived on purpose.  You and I can too.  He stood tall and faithful because of a special relationship with His Friend.  Has your purpose dimmed?  Is the why of life linked to your purpose, your relationship to God and finally to others?  Our adventuresome weeks wear us out mentally and physically, but they should never thwart our purpose.  Let your purpose dictate the why of your life!

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