What is the purpose of life? I always laugh when I see the cartoon characters climbing to the top of a mountain peak in search of the elusive guru who has the answer. The answer is actually easier to find than the physically exhaustive hike to cold, wind-blown mountain tops. All you need is your fingers to do the walking, though it’s not exactly in the “yellow pages,” but through the pages of the greatest story ever told: the Bible.
The Bible teaches the purpose of the created (us) is decided by the creator (God). He shaped us according to His purpose, which is to bring Him pleasure. “The Lord delights in those who fear him and put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11 NIV) “He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV) This verse reminds me of a time recently when I rocked my little grandson who was upset. I gently patted his back while quietly singing to him. It wasn’t long before he was off playing again.
Just like a parent, or grandparent in my case, God is happy when you are safely trusting in His care. When I held my grandson, my heart delighted in just being with him. I think that is the way God feels about us. We make Him happy by loving Him and spending time with Him. That is what our purpose in life is; to praise and honor God. So as long as we have breath we have a purpose.
How do you spend time with God that gives you a feeling of purpose or delight?
Photography is a hobby that my husband, Jon, and I enjoy. He has a camera where he can choose all the settings for each frame. I point and shoot. He takes time to look at the lighting, focus and angle, and calculates what his finished photo will look like. I say, “That looks pretty good,” and then click.
Automatic is easier and sometimes I get just as dramatic a result as Jon does. But automatic isn’t always the best choice, especially when it comes to what we are focusing our minds on. Allowing our human nature to run autofocus through our thoughts can end with an unclear scene. If someone hurts our feelings, our mind will zoom in on the raw emotions as the focal point. When our feelings come into focus, the feelings of those around us may become blurred. We wouldn’t know that if we are centering the whole scene only around ourselves.
Some pictures may be attractive with only one image, but more often that image can be enhanced by including something to compare or contrast it to. Focusing our thoughts from only one angle never gives us a clear image of the bigger picture. When we zoom our attention out to include others in the frame, we may have to change some of the settings to assure each of us are in focus. It may take some thought and planning.
Don’t let your thoughts be point and shoot. Take the time to set your mind with God’s word. Adjust your thinking with compassion and forgiveness. Then watch the lighting change to where you can see everything clearer.
Have you ever focused on your own hurt, then found out that you were the one who misunderstood the situation? How did you refocus your frame of mind?