Tomorrow is a day specifically set aside for the act of giving thanks. I hope that each of you – despite the inevitable challenges that you face – can recall a long list of things, circumstances, and people for which you are thankful. So many in fact, that one day is not enough and your gratitude extends into every day moving forward!
Chief on the list for me is that I have always had the benefit of a sense of purpose. Those of you that read Scripture may have heard of the concept of a “life verse” – a portion of Scripture that provides a sense of purpose to your living.
For most of my life, my life verse came from Philippians 1:21 – “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The defining characteristic for me that comes from this verse is that being a follower and imitator of Christ informs everything I do. I am far (really far) from doing that perfectly, but every reminder of my purpose and re-setting of my priorities along the way has been steeped in that desire.
The follow-on benefit that comes from that defining verse, though, is that death is not an outcome that I fear. If you know me and have spent any time with me, you may have heard me say that when I die you do not need to be sad for me, because it will be the best day of my life so far. Of course, you can be sad for those that love me. My hope is that they will be sad in my absence but comforted in the knowledge that their best day is also ahead.
In the last 2+ years, two big changes occurred in my life – the arrival of three grandchildren, and retirement. As my heart expanded and my priorities took a new turn, I found that my life verse(s) also expanded. Consider my renewed purpose:
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to remain on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.” – Philippians 1:21-25
Out of this purpose, I first devote myself to family. Yes, God will take care of them when I am gone, but while I am here, I want to pour myself into those I love.
Out of this purpose, Healthy Rhythms Life Coaching was launched. Helping others consider their best path, make important decisions thoughtfully and live a life of purpose is a life-giving exercise for me.
What is your purpose? Maybe it is not from Scripture, but do you have a well-defined sense of what you are seeking to accomplish – and why? If so, I hope you are grateful for that purpose. If not, it would be my pleasure to help you – and I would consider it a gift if you would allow me.