Your Sole Purpose In Life
Last night at my church's elder meeting we received into church membership a small group of students, who had just completed Confirmation. As part of their confirmation process, they were asked to write their own faith statement, and then share it in small groups with elders and pastors at the meeting.
I was blown away by the young middle school student who shared her faith journey with our particular cluster of elders. She wrote something in her faith statement that has been resonating with me ever since. She said that her "sole purpose" in life was to be in relationship with God.
She went on to share what that meant as a Jesus-follower, and how Jesus embodied the love of God for her. But I have not been able to stop thinking about the words she chose to describe how important her relationship with God has to be--so important that it needed to be her "sole purpose."
This young student has begun her journey of faith figuring out what so many Christians never fully grasp years into their own: When you come to a place where you desire first and foremost to make God your priority, your ultimate longing and desire--you find that you need little else.
So many of us often find ourselves seemingly beset on all sides by troubles and crises. We can feel at times as though we are being pulled in a thousand directions at once, overwhelmed by choices, stymied by our inability to resolve our conflicts and find our way forward. And in those moments we can all too quickly begin to wonder where Jesus is in the midst of it.
Which is why the words of the Apostle Paul from his letter to the Romans are so helpful:
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:38-39)
Meister Eckhart once wrote, "When Jesus is united with your soul, the soul's tide moves back again into its own, out of itself and above all things, with grace and power back to its prime origin."
The truth embedded in the young confirmands statement of faith is simply this: When you let anything get in the way of surrendering your whole life to following and imitating Jesus (the fullest expression of God we can grasp), you are denying your true self, the person God created you to be.
But if you make following and imitating Jesus your ultimate goal and purpose, you find out who you were always meant to be, you discover the source of your "prime origin."
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of all light, love and life, be with you now and always. Amen.