Why Am I Still Here?
Located on the southeast corner of the U.S. 60 and Country Club Road is a billboard promoting Grand Canyon University (GCU). The message is, “Find Your Purpose.” The obvious implication is enrolling at GCU will help you in that important search. Although I am not the intended target of the commercial, the assertion makes me think.
It seems the “college years” are the natural time for that exploration for meaning. It’s the season when you are preparing to enter the “real world.” You are facing a series of monumental decisions. These life choices are not random isolated selections. Rather, they are interrelated choices. You will experience their consequences, good or bad, for the remainder of life. So, it only makes sense that knowing who you are is the first step on that journey.
Big Idea … Here’s a trap to avoid: thinking that pursuit of purpose ever ends. Travis is my physical therapist. His specialty is in-house (homebound) patients. During one of our sessions he declared, “The question I am most frequently asked by my clients is ‘Why am I here?’” Remember who he is talking with – mostly very old, very sick people who understand their life expectancy is more likely to be measured in months, maybe years, but certainly not decades. This nagging question, “Why am I here?” never goes away. It is relentless and demands an answer. Do you have an answer for that inquiry?
As we wrestle with the question, specifics of our answers will vary from person to person, but the general answer doesn’t vary. In his most recent book titled, “Parting Words to the Church on Race,” John Perkins reflects on his conversion and subsequent life change. As is the case with each of us “Christ Followers” he was, if you will, “repurposed.” He writes, “When I heard that verse [Galatians 2:20], I said to myself that if there’s a God in heaven who loved me enough to send His only Son into the world to die for me, I want to knowthat God. I want to knowHim. And I came to knowHim. I believe the purpose of man is to know that God, the God of the universe who made everything and holds everything together. That bigGod. That all-encompassingGod. The God who makes Himself known to humanity. I came to know that God. And I believe the purpose of us knowing that God is to love Him back and make Him known to others.”
Many churches have adopted an abbreviated version of Perkin’s testimony as their mission statement…To know God and make Him known. To know God. Is that possible? How can I do that? Well, back to the basics. You will grow in your knowledge and relationship with Him through Bible study, prayer, meditation, fellowship with other believers, and serving. FYI: There is no shortcutting this journey. And there is no “finish line.” For a vibrant relationship with God this is an essential lifelong effort. The Apostle Paul addresses this subject in a deeply personal way as he writes to the church at Philippi (Philippians 3), “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Why are you here? To know God and make Him known. Now you figure out the details.
“Talk” again soon.