Journal Entry from October 25, 2011: The Purpose of Life
"Everyone thinks that question is the hardest one. What am I meant for? Why am I here? What is my life supposed to mean? Everyone has their own answer. People think everyone is here for something different. People either take the question incredibly serious or blow it off. Those who take it seriously may worry and fear if they are left without an answer-What's going to happen to me? Those who pass it off with a shrug of the shoulders do so because they don't want the burden. They want to live the way they want to live.
I used to worry. You see, we as humans want to feel important. We don't want to come and pass as if we never existed. We want to be wanted. We want to be needed. If we don't have any of that then why even come into existence? This is a big world filled with many people. If I don't stand out then why be here?
Before I knew who Jesus was I was afraid to die. I had heard of Heaven and Hell. I had heard of different people giving different explanations of what would happen after death. I didn't know what to believe. And because of that I was so fearful of death. Where would I go? What would happen? What if there is a Heaven and I don't get in? I was a good person right? Sure I would make it to Heaven. The only thing I was certain of was that I was not certain about life after death. I didn't know if there was a God out there and if there was, what was he like?
Because a good friend practically bugged me into going to church when I was 14 I was told things that completely changed my life. I heard about God. Story after story of all these things He had done with humanity. He created us and continued to interact with us. He loves us. No matter who we are or what we've done, He loves us. Then I heard something new to me: Jesus. Jess came and lives a sinless life only to be beaten and hung on a cross. But why? Because between us and God was a sin that kept a Holy God from an unholy people. By Jesus living a perfect life without blemish He qualified as a sacrifice that could cover it all. What needed to be taken out on each person through God's Holy judgment was all laid on Jesus. His blood covered my sin and washed me clean. And that stands for all. The wall was broken and we were promised eternity with God. From the day we acknowledge Jesus as savior and submit to His authority until the days after physical death. Those days are all promised to be spent with the Creator of this universe. That includes a home in Heaven.
After hearing these things. After coming to know Jesus as real and true, not a character from a book. After being confronted with the Truth. I knew Jesus as my savior and bridge to the Father. After that I was no longer afraid of death. I was secure. I had no more reason to worry, question, doubt, or fear.
Yet, just because I knew my end was secure didn't actually mean I knew why I was living. My ending was much bigger than I ever knew, but I couldn't help but fall into thinking that I, and my life, was so small. I still didn't know my purpose. I went through life with more satisfaction after giving my life to Jesus. However, I never let go of the idea that I was insignificant in this world. I didn't know my purpose. And that left my mind open for many different thoughts:
"There is no reason for me to be here."
"No one would care if I was gone."
"I'm not even sure people actually like me."
"If I died I doubt anyone would go to my funeral."
I allowed those thoughts to cycle through my head for a long time. I didn't think it was odd. At that time I thought everyone thought like me. I would get distracted from those thoughts time and time again. But they never left. I allowed them to stay in my mind. They made a home in my thoughts. When things would get frustrating or I felt insignificant to other people they would yell at me.
One day I allowed those thoughts to be the only ones I heard. I believed that I had no purpose and that the world would be no different, maybe even better, without me in it. Over and over these thought went round and round to the point of leading me to the kitchen. I opened the silverware drawer, grabbed a knife, and placed it against my flesh. At that moment I heard something different: "Ashley What are you thinking? You are significant to me and I created you with a purpose. Don't do it. Let go and come to me." The Lord broke through and showed me something outside myself.
I had been ignoring the thoughts and truths of the very One that created me. I had been listening to every other thing about what my life meant. But they did not create me. They didn't draw my design. How could they know what I was meant for? Just as no one but the creator of an invention can state its purpose, no person can tell me mine that is not God.
"What is the purpose of life?" is no longer a tough question. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to build a bridge that offered reconciliation between us and our Father. And while Jesus founded the bridge, added to it is every person who chooses it. Those who acknowledge Jesus' gift get to play a part in it. When my life was made new in Jesus I was given a purpose. I am to glorify God in all I do in order to point others to Him and the bridge that connects them. When I gained new life in Jesus my life became part of something so much bigger. While my life may seem small compared to this world and just an instant in time, it plays a part in the very thing that created time itself. Jesus is above all. My life is in Him. His purpose is now my purpose. So my life doesn't just come and go. My life contributes to something eternal.
I am not here to wander through life. I was not an accident. My life is not meaningless. My life is being used by Jesus in a worldwide epidemic of souls being saved and reconciled with the Father. Talk about purpose. Talk about significance. I get to be a tool through which Jesus speaks, acts, and reveals truth. When I let go of my life that was limited to my ideas and abilities I was able to live into the life designed for me.
So don't be like me when I was young. Don't let outsiders define your life for you. People change their minds and sway with emotions. They get confused and deceived. You are going to let that determine who you are? Don't do it!
The purpose of life- to know God and to make Him known.
Live into that. Until you seek that first and do so with your whole heart, you will never know what the looks like in immediate details. Your purpose for the day will not be revealed or accomplished until you know the purpose of your life. So don't worry about today. When you know what all is supposed to be lived for you will know how to live today. Let every small thing point to and align with your ultimate purpose and you will see it all amount to the greatest of all things. Each small act of life that lines up with knowing God and making Him known is actually not small at all; they become eternal. Knowing the big picture brings significance to all.
Seek to know God- He is eternal so you will never grow bored, but placed in a stance of awe continuously. Seek Him and you will find Him.
Make Him known to all- this will overflow out of knowing Him. His heart is for every heart. When that is what you know that is what you will see to do. He is so incredible that you won't be able to stand knowing there are people who don't know Him.