Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Purpose Driven Life - Chapter 6

A Purpose Driven Life Chapter 6 - Life on Earth is a Temporary Assignment

Chapter Overview: This world is not my home.  Our live here on earth is quite brief compared to eternity.  We won't be here long, so don't get attached.

Life is temporary - hourglass image

2011 (40 years old)

In the book, Rick had this 'theme' of life with God as part of the two 'themes' of life from the previous chapter, but he split them up into chapter 5 and 6 as they were too long as one chapter.  So I've been considering them together.  This morning thinking about these, I had pretty much become frustrated, and seeing life's themes as a 'test', a 'trust', and a 'temporary assignment' frankly makes me feel like giving up - like I'm a failure and what's the point of even trying anymore?

I know that isn't what God wants our lives to be all about.  Sometimes I get the impression that that is what pastors think, though.  I have such a hard time keeping balance between absolutes that are written in books (whether it's the bible or another book) and applying that to real life using moderation.  I had the same issue/contention with a passage we were going over in small group 6 weeks ago or so.  I would take the passage - it was in Philippians 2:1-12 and we were trying to consider the context and apply it to our lives.  This passage is full of absolutes and and exhortation to be like Christ in our relationships.  Is that possible?  I balked at that question.  It's frustrating and given the context of my situation, seemingly hopeless.

Interestingly enough, Pastor Dave in church today did a sermon on 'The Cat who Came Back' (a cartoon he showed at the beginning).  His main points were:
  1. Life is series of assignments (the similarity to this chapter is striking).  
  2. We're all called to complete each assignment we are given (just like if we complete all our assignments in Grade 2 we get 'promoted' to Grade 3)
  3. My progress (in my relationship with God?) is dependent upon my completing each assignment I've been given.
  4. God will bring back every assignment I failed to finish (The cat will come back)  
Pastor Dave told a story about a puzzle that he had originally bought for staff gift exchange.  Shane opened the gift, tried to exchange it numerous times and in the end he ended up with the puzzle again (this was Christmas 2010).  He took it to his Dad's house (as his Dad does puzzles) and returned for Christmas this year to find the box was still not even opened yet.  So he brought it back and told pastor Dave about it.  Pastor Dave used it as his sermon illustration and bought the puzzle back from Shane in the service, vowing to complete it by the end of 2011.  And then he challenged us to search our heart/lives for 'assignments' in the past year that we had left undone.  2011 is the year of 'cleanup'.

2016 (45 years old)

Life is a temporary assignment. How should the fact that life is a temporary assignment change the way I'm living right now?  Perhaps it should impact my relationships and perspective of others - particularly others who don't know Jesus - in a more influential way. Spending more time praying for them and being active in encouraging them to look to Jesus. Worry less.

For background on what these 'Purpose Driven Life' posts are about, click this link.

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