Devotional Reading: John 15: 1-11 (from the Daily Lectionary)
Text: I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide (live) in Me and I in them, bear much fruit. Cut off from Me, you can do nothing. (v.5)
“What is your North Star?” What gives your life direction, a sense of purpose? In William Damon’s book, Path to Purpose, the author talks about the necessity of having an overarching purpose in life. This is different from a life “plan”. Plans are good but life never works out as planned. A purpose, though, is a North Star keeping us headed in the right direction. It is never too late to adopt a purpose. All we have to do is the hard work of looking our current reality squarely in the face and making the adjustments necessary to move toward our purpose.
It is easy for us to become hypnotized by shiny temporal objects and adopting them as our purpose. Fame, wealth, glory, popularity are temporary. “The Westminster Divines” spent years debating the nature of meaningful human purpose before they wrote their major theological work. One part of this work is called “The Shorter Catechism.” Its first question sets the tone for the 149 that follow. “What is the chief end (purpose) of Man (and, presumably Woman)? Answer: “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
The only real eternal purpose in life is to “glorify God”; to live a God glorifying life. A life that glorifies God is not based on plans that change at the whim of circumstance. It may lead to a religious vocation, but most probably not. It will, though, sensitize us to the plight of the least, the last and the lost. It will challenge us to be the best student, the best employee, the best spouse, the best citizen–especially world citizen–that we can be. Glorifying God in all of our decisions is the only thing that can give our lives real meaning–eternal meaning.
Lord, Show me how to glorify you in all that I do and say today. Let me not seek vain glory or honor or fleeting wealth. Show me how to live in such a manner that it my life should end today I can be confident that I would hear Your voice whisper, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Amen.