Rick Warren’s “The Purpose-Driven Life” is a bestseller that I’ve always heard of, but not ever taken the time to read and work through. In fact, I even bought it from iBooks nearly a year ago, but hadn’t “cracked it open.” Yet as I begin this Mercy Home experience, it seems like the perfect time to devote 40 days to a journey of self-discovery in terms of “What on Earth am I here for?” — a central theme of Warren’s text. So, this is my plan. I’m letting you, dear readers, into a deep part of myself by sharing with you about this journey. I encourage you to join along, but at the least, follow along with me and see how it goes. The book is divided up into 40 chapters, with the expectation that the reader does not peek ahead to the next day’s readings. I know this part may be difficult, but there is intention in all of God’s works and so I look forward to the surprises that will come along the way. Also important to note, I am going to use the book’s discussion questions/points to ponder from each day as a launchpad for discussion in readmoore — that way you know what sections to expect each day, and then my reflections on each will follow.
This is what each post should, in theory, be formatted to look like:
Day (x): TITLE OF CHAPTER
A Point to Ponder
A Verse to Remember
A Question to Consider
Warren makes the explicit point in the introduction that “A journey is always better when it is shared…This will help you grow stronger and deeper spiritually. Real spiritual growth is never an isolated, individualistic pursuit. Maturity is produced through relationships and community.”
So here goes.
Day 1 : It All Starts with God
A Point to Ponder: “It’s not about me.”
~ Well, let’s start off with a bang, shall we? Mr. Warren made it quite clear in this chapter about the intentionality of God and creating us for His purposes – not the other way around. Though it is a harsh wake-up call, it can serve as a blessing to be reminded of this. He says “Contrary to what many popular books, movies, and seminars tell you, you won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within yourself…You’ve probably tried that already. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for!” This is exactly what I needed to hear. I stress too much (even now in this transition time) about if what I am doing is what is right and what steps I need to take in my life to make me happy. Finding my purpose, I have begun to realize, (or maybe have just been reminded of) is not going to come through a logical thought process. This type of realization and self-awareness comes as a direct result of being awake enough to know that God is in charge.
Ephesians 1:11 reads “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we ever heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.” Now critics can say whatever they wish about the Bible and how harsh and condemning it can often appear to be – but this, my friends, is a glorious announcement. Do we take the time to delight in this blessing?
A Verse to Remember: “Everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.” – Colossians 1:16
~ Again, a reassuring truth to remember – we need not stress about our own definition of purpose in life; rather, when we turn our attention to the One who gifted us with everything that we need, this type of realization comes naturally.
Question to Consider: In spite of all the advertising around me, how can I remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself?
~ Follow me with this analogy that I’m coming up with here. You know the expression “seeing the world through rose-colored glasses,” and how that connotes one who has an overly optimistic view of things around them? I think that a healthy way to keep in line with this question that Warren proposes is to, as best as we humanly can (which is limited, of course), keep our heads on straight and see with “God frames” – I don’t think the glasses need to be rose colored. I think that we all see through different colors and shades, depending on our experiences, moods, and what is happening in our daily lives. But the important part through it all – no matter what shade our glasses are – is that we attempt to see everything with God as the framework. Essentially, the song lyrics “Give me Your eyes for just one second, give me Your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing, give me Your love for humanity” ring true here. Do you have God frames? Or do you still need to adjust the fit?
I hope that the first post of this journey is one that stirred some thought in your heart, and I hope you follow me in this adventure of the 40-day devotional. If you want to follow along with your own copy of the book, let me know. It’s available as an e-book on many sites, as well as in the iBooks store.
Until tomorrow, blessings.