Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Mystery of Purpose

By Alexander Samuels

Do you ever wonder about your purpose in life? I do. And I must not be the only one. Tolstoy, when commenting on science, said "Science is meaningless because it gives no answer to our question, the only question important to us, 'what shall we do and how shall we live?'" The absence of a defining purpose, in spite of the successes we may enjoy, leaves us hollow. Fyodor Dostoevsky once wrote, "For the secret of man's being is not only to live . . . but to live for something definite. Without a firm notion of what he is living for, man will not accept life and will rather destroy himself than remain on earth."

For Christians, this truth translates into . . . "How is it that God sees me and what is it that God really wants me to live for?" For the Christian, knowing God's purpose in his life is not a secondary issue. God's purpose for me is the deepest issue of them all. One of my favorite books helps me to sort all this out when that personal sense of purpose seems to go wandering off. The book is The Call by Os Guinness. I'll let the author himself explain his work to you:

This book is for all who long to find and fulfill the purpose of their lives. It argues that this purpose can be found only when we discover the specific purpose for which we were created and to which we are called. Answering the call of our Creator is "the ultimate why" for living, the highest source of purpose in human existence. Apart from such a calling, all hope of discovering purpose will end in disappointment. To be sure, calling is not what it is commonly thought to be. It has to be dug out from under the rubble of ignorance and confusion. And, uncomfortably, it often flies directly in the face of our human inclinations. But nothing short of God's call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose.

Do you have a reason for being, a focused sense of purpose in your life? Do you want to know the secret of the mystery? Reading this book will inspire you.


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