Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has published an expanded 10th anniversary edition of his classic book The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For? This edition contains 2 additional chapters that incorporate a fresh understanding of the barriers keeping us from finding our purpose in life. In Chapter 1 (“It All Starts with God”) Rick notes that people typically begin their search for life’s purpose at the wrong starting point- themselves.
The author continues by listing 2 methods for people to discover the purpose for which God created them: speculation and revelation. Most people, Pastor Warren states, conjecture, guess and theorize about their purpose. They rely on human knowledge. The alternative is revelation, what God has made known to us through His Word. God is not merely the starting point of our lives, He is the source.
As Christians, firmly grounded in Word and Sacrament, it might appear that Rick is preaching to the choir. Yet a ministry downsizing or job loss can create major fissures in that foundation. As we are in our transitional, desert Land Between time, there are 2 questions that bear reflection:
1. Has adversity turned my gaze inward or have I steadfastly remained focused on Jesus?
2. Does my former ministry position or career pathway truly align with God’s purpose for my life, or do I need to reevaluate and revitalize God’s design for my life, thereby discovering new avenues of ministry?
Note: Wednesday’s post will be between 8:00 and 8:30 PM, after I return from playing a Lenten service.