A thought for reflection

I am one who is purpose driven, mission oriented, and not good at sitting around. But lately, there has been no evident purpose or mission in my life, a situation I pray is temporary. It's very difficult, but this question occurred to me:

"If all I am permitted in this life is to know God, is that enough?"

Surely, nothing could be better and nothing supplant knowing Him, and I am finding my mind quickly says yes. But my actions and the longings of my heart seem to disagree.

Have you seen the film "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"?

10 Comments

Many in our culture feel this way. I think it comes from the notion that "the saved" are chosen by God before the foundations of the world. This being the case, and human nature being what it is, Christians set out to gain an assurance that they were among these chosen. How? The thought pattern follows this line... The chosen of God are blessed by him. Those receiving his blessings prosper in this world. So develops our work ethic over 12 decades. The harder we work....... the more we are blessed ( of God )....... the more assurance we have of being among those chosen to be saved before the foundations of the world.... simple

I think that the more we come to know Jesus, the more His desire for others to know Him spills into our lives, changing our desires to His, just as the Bible states. And if you feel you have no purpose, then ask Jesus. Remember what the bible says: you have not because you ask not!!! Something else I'm reminded of is the verse that says without a vision, my people perish.... write down some goals.... long term and short term.... maybe it'll help redirect your purpose...

Just some thoughts from a totally random stranger, hope it encourages you....

I'm not sure I understand your logic. If god had already chosen "the saved" before the foundations of the world, then what difference do our actions make seeing as we have already been predestined to heaven or hell? Doesn't God want everybody saved and then leaves the choice of our salvation in our own hands? And I wouldn't worry too much if you can't seem to find a mission in life at the moment, diligent prayer could point you in a certain direction. or maybe Your mission is just to know God to the best of your abilities. Which isn't as uncommon as many think.

I think we are all in the same spot at one time or another in our lives, Avi. OK...maybe some of us are always in that spot!! LOL

The Rabbis would say that it is the age old battle between your good inclination (the desire to know G-d) and your evil inclination (to satisfy your own needs and desires).

Surely it is the struggle of our lives and is part of the human condition, so to speak.

Have not seen the movie you referenced though I have heard many good things about it.

Reading the comments, it seems to me that I didn't make myself clear in the article.

There are two factors present: We are designed to work, to be doing something, and we are culturally conditioned to attach our work with our personal value as a person. We are valued for what we contribute or produce.

In "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" -- a true story -- a "successful" man is suddenly stripped by a stroke of every vestige of life and control, to the point that he was left totally paralyzed, able to control only one eye. It raises profound questions about what it is to be human, and about life in general.

So, if the only thing permitted to me was to truly, intimately know God -- not simply know about him -- would I consider that enough? Would I trade everything else in my life for that intimacy with him?

If you have an easy answer, I suspect you haven't considered the question carefully.

"We are designed to work, to be doing something, and we are culturally conditioned to attach our work with our personal value as a person. We are valued for what we contribute or produce." ~~~ Are we? Why must we be 'doing something'? Who values us? Man or God? Seems like a very earthly concept to me.

Michelle,

Thanks for your comment. I would refer you to Genesis 1 and 2, and God's instruction to Adam and Eve to "work in service" of the garden, and to subdue the earth. All sounds like work to me. But then, I wasn't there. :)

I’m not referring to God’s command of ‘work’, as much as I’m referring to our need to feel like we have a purpose. I realize God put Adam in the garden to work it and take care of it. We are still here to take care of the Earth God gave us. Of course, I'm sure the task God had in mind when he put Adam in the garden was much different than now.

Back to "we are culturally conditioned to attach our work with our personal value as a person". Why is this? Does God love us more if we stay busy or get more done and feel better about ourselves? I don't get why society thinks they have to have a mission or task 24/7? Perhaps God would be thrilled if we chucked all of the things we 'think' we need or even have to do aside to have quiet in our lives? How can we hear God if we are constantly anxious or distraught about our mission?

So back to "If all I am permitted in this life is to know God, is that enough?", I think for most people the answer is ‘No’. No matter how hard we try (and think we would), we have our own agendas. We have our own pleasures and objectives that differ from God’s. Pride keeps it from ever being ‘enough’.

Michelle,

My apologies. I misunderstood your comment. However, I think our need for a purpose is a legitimate reflection of our reflecting a purposeful God, and having been given what can only be called a purpose for our being here. There is a connection, I think, between a perceived purpose and a sense of significance. The problem, as I see it, is attaching our significance or value to our fulfillment of our purpose, especially when our concept of that purpose is distorted. You are correct that God loves us no more or less for what we do, but our culture conditions us otherwise. It is that cultural conditioning, I think, that is a problem. Having said that, if we are quite happy sitting on our dead end, doing nothing, then we should be concerned. Something in us is not working the way God intended it.

What do you think about transferring this conversation to the forum, to see if anyone else might be interested?

Sure, we can certainly transfer it to the forum. I'd be interested to see what others think. I TOTALLY agree that cultural conditioning is a huge problem and something that I've worked very hard to separate myself from. I also agree that there should be a concern if one isn't motivated - that something is lacking. But, I think there is a fine line between between our actions (aka work) for our own self satisfaction versus doing something SOLELY because it gives God joy and brings us into a stronger relationship with him.

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  • Michelle T. said:
      Sure, we can certainly transfer it to the forum. I'd be interested to...
  • Larry Baden said:
      Michelle, My apologies. I misunderstood your comment. However, I thin...
  • Michelle T. said:
      I’m not referring to God’s command of ‘work’, as much as I’m referring...
  • Larry said:
      Michelle, Thanks for your comment. I would refer you to Genesis 1 and...
  • Michelle T. said:
      "We are designed to work, to be doing something, and we are culturally...
  • Larry said:
      Reading the comments, it seems to me that I didn't make myself clear i...
  • Brook Hayes said:
      I think we are all in the same spot at one time or another in our live...
  • Sam Jenkins said:
      I'm not sure I understand your logic. If god had already chosen "the s...
  • Erika said:
      I think that the more we come to know Jesus, the more His desire for o...
  • Peter Casey said:
      Many in our culture feel this way. I think it comes from the notion th...

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