Purpose Even Then?
Thunderous applause erupts, gongs clang wildly, and all is right in the world because it’s here, the time has finally come, it’s summer! Was that not what you were expecting? Sorry, but can you blame this college girl? It’s the summer before my senior year and it’s glorious. I plan on enjoying every brief, beautiful moment of it. It’s expected of me, right? I can volunteer and go to church regularly during the school year, but this is me time. Taylor-needs-a-tan-time.
Yeah, you’re probably right. That doesn’t sound as good as I thought it would. Because really, does the kingdom pause when my school year ends? It’s kind of ridiculous when I start to think about it. Sure I worked hard at my classes and I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this whole Jesus thing, it’s that God’s timing doesn’t look like mine. There were plenty of instances in the Bible where it seemed like God was wasting time; waiting till Lazarus was already dead, what’s up with that? Drawing something in the dirt when a woman is about to be stoned? Not sure what you’re doing there, Jesus. But who am I to question God’s calendar? And who am I to declare a break from what he’s doing? But maybe you’re taking summer classes. And maybe you’re not a college student at all, you’re working full time. Or maybe you’ve got kids and they just got out for the summer and please, dear Lord, let them not get kicked out of Vacation Bible School again. I get it, I do. But wherever you’re at, whoever you are, listen up:
YOU HAVE A PURPOSE!
And I’m not talking about a grand purpose that hangs over you everywhere you go and keeps you from tossing in the towel when they get your latte order wrong for the fifth time even though you come there like, every day. I’m talking about a specific, unique purpose that you have as a part of the kingdom of God. I’m talking about the kind of specific purpose you see in Acts 8 where Phillip runs into an Ethiopian who doesn’t know Jesus but ends up getting baptized after just a brief interaction with the truth. I mean the kind of purpose that Esther had when she single-handedly stopped the genocide of her entire people. I mean the kind of purpose that turns that fifth wrong latte into a friendship with your barista and later, a relationship with Christ. We serve a God who created us not as blips in eternity or to merely run head first into walls for our entire existence, but who created us for a very personal, very intimate relationship with him. That kind of God therefore cares not only about our eternal purpose, but also about the string of mundane choices that we call our lives. So please, sleep in that extra hour. Finish that shelf of books you’ve been eyeing all semester. Those aren’t bad things and often, they need to be done! Make your choices, but don’t think that that’s all they are, or that’s all there is to your life. The perspectives we have of our time and of our actions are critical to how we manage them.
I don’t want to forget that even my summer can be purposeful. Even your lunch break or your 5 o’clock happy hour can be purposeful. Pray about it; ask God what parts of your life that you could open up for a new purpose. Share with your friends and family what he’s been doing or ways you think you could be purposeful together. Maybe just that small act of obedience will spark a whole movement of mundane acts that really aren’t that mundane because how could they be in service to our God? Maybe God will speak a new meaning into something you thought was going to be completely different or maybe you’ll start a brand new ministry in Jacksonville that will be featured right here on Closer to Love. Who knows the potential for the times we so easily dismiss? Who knows what the Lord will do until you ask?
This post was written by Taylor Bump, a student at the University of North Florida