Howdy, Y’all. How are you on this Monday morning? How’s your coffee?
As I was sitting down at my desk this morning, a flock of little birds were quite busy outside my window, flying between the trees and the bushes, looking I assume for whatever they were having for breakfast. I delighted in their work and I watched them for quite a while, grateful for the signs of life in creation in my front yard. Even though I had my own tasks to get to, I delighted in their being and found that my approach to my own work was more joyful.
I keep this quote at my desk:
“Seeking to live a good life is very different from seeking satisfaction for my felt needs and cravings. It’s not about ‘me’ as a particular individual; it’s about being human, which is a very different idea.” 1
We are a purpose driven2 people. As human beings, we are created by God with purpose. Where we go sideways is by defining ‘purpose’ in a way that is different from God’s way. One of the writers of the good news story, Matthew, gives us these words of Jesus:
Our purpose is about who we are. We are God’s people, beloved by The One who created us in community for community. This is the good life, the life God created and called Very Good.
For so many, this gets lost in the busyness of proving our purpose with what we do. We have forgotten that we call ourselves human beings, not human doings. And yes, I do say often that ours is a faith of movement but I don’t mean to imply that “getting things done” is the goal. The journey, life following Jesus in the light of God’s love and shining the light of God’s love is our purpose. In fulfilling this purpose we also manage to feed some hungry folks physically and spiritually, heal some wounded souls with kindness, welcome the marginalized and strangers in love. These actions are the fruit of our purpose of being humans who follow Jesus.
The birds outside my window this morning bore fruit they were completely unaware of: they brought me joy. As we follow Jesus, living in our purpose of being salt and light, living the good life we are created for, we will bear fruit we are unaware of. And, yet, we are making things on earth as they are in heaven.
1 The quote is from Dr. David Yeago. It came to me through my Systematic Theology class at Wycliffe College taught by Dr. Joseph Mangina. The textbook we used was a then unpublished book of Systematic Theology being written by Dr. Yeago. I do not know if the book was ever published but I have many, many gems from the draft we were given and it was quite formative for me.
2 Yes, I know there is a popular book published with a similar title but that’s not what I’m talking about here.