Saturday, August 2, 2008

Purpose

There comes a time in every person's life where they ask a crucial question: why? Why do we fight? Why do we struggle? What is the purpose of life? We can only gain perishable things from our labor, things that don't last. Is there something more? A reason why we should fight? For we struggle, we labor, we fight, but in the end all it amounts to is more trouble, and from that results more fighting. So we continue in a never-ending spiral of fighting, succeeding, and fighting more because of the success. Thus is the curse of every American, nay, every human being.
For some, it is a noble fight: the fight for survival. Those that live in third-world countries must fight in order to live. However, America is a place where mediocrity not only thrives, but is worshiped. We can give up, and yet still be successful. We can do nothing, and live, while the poor suffer, and fight. But, in the end, both parties come to the same question: why? What is the purpose of our existence? For the poor, the question is, "why must I suffer each day only to wake up and suffer again?" For Americans, the question sounds more like, "why must I thrive in mediocrity, only to wake up and wallow in my un-greatness once again?"
These questions are quite similar. All humans desire power, desire greatness, desire happiness. But, even in America, the great country of opportunity, these goals are not always reached. Why? Because humans cannot see their purpose. 1st Corinthians 9:24-27 says, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."
Those who run without purpose, are those that run for a perishable crown. They therefore end up questioning the worth of running at all. Who would want to run for a laurel wreath, something that would end up withering away in mere days? It is, as Paul says, aimless. Purposeless. Those that run for laurel, soon end up giving up, whether physically or mentally. Their lives become stagnant, without color or variation, and they stop fighting, stop questioning, stop living. And their entire existence becomes purposeless.
But we who profess faith in the "unknown God" (Romans 17:22-28), do not have such a dire fate. As Paul says, we "run in such a way as not without aim; box in such a way, as not beating the air." And this purpose, this search of an imperishable crown, gives our life aim. We become souls that walk on a path with determination, instead of souls wandering aimlessly throughout life. We do the exact opposite of what the enemy wants us to do; for he wants us in that place of purposelessness, and aimlessness. We become warriors. We become true Christians.
For this is what it means to live purposefully.

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