Life Is Lived for a Purpose

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

There is a YouTube video that has been viewed 1.1 billion times in the last year.  It is referred to as “Unboxing.”  I am told it depicts people (or just their hands) taking products out of their packaging and examining them in obsessive detail.

Doesn’t that sound exciting – viewing hands taking objects out of boxes and examining them?

These videos are most popular with very small children.  It didn’t take long for toy makers to create lucrative sponsorships for some of these videos.  They are also offering free products for the most popular unboxing practitioners.

People today must be terribly deficient in finding ways to spend time purposefully.  Simply watching hands taking products out of a package appears to be extremely boring.  A Harvard scholar, Harlow Shipley, made up a list of “possible causes of the destruction of civilization.”  His list included nuclear war, natural catastrophe, and widespread disease.  Ranked third on his list was boredom.

In January, British movie censors had to sit through a ten-hour film that was made to protest the UK’s rating laws.  The film consisted of a single shot of white paint drying on a wall.  They had to watch it for ten hours.  It finally got a rating of “Suitable for viewers age four and over.”

Watching paint dry on a wall – isn’t that an exciting life?   I don’t know if it is ahead or behind watching hands uncrate a product.

One of the things that the Christian faith does is it gives purpose to life.  God told the people of Israel, “But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth” (Ex. 9:16 NLT).  It gives meaning.  There is a reason we are alive today and a reason we have time.  It is not to watch paint dry or watch hands unpack a product, but it is to do something useful with our lives.  Warren Buffett said, “The most successful people in the world have learned to say ‘No’ to the things that pull them from their purpose.”

For many people, life is nothing more than a merry-go-round of meaningless activity.  If we become caught up in just going through the motions of getting up, walking through the day, going to bed at night – if there is not meaning attached, are we really alive?  If we have to take something to help us go to sleep at night, then something to help us get started in the morning, then we are becoming dependent on an artificial way of looking at life.  Jesus designed it to be different.  Paul wrote, “So I run with purpose in every step.  I am not just shadowboxing” (I Cor. 9:26 NLT).

I once saw a picture of a sign on the front door of a store which read “Gone out of business – we didn’t know what our business was.”  A business will fail if its leaders don’t know what its business is.  Life is wasted if it doesn’t engage in the purpose for which it was created.  It’s time to get down to business!

Jesus said “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).  Every day is a gift from God.  Every day God puts something in front of us that He wants us to accomplish.  The greatest joy in life comes when we fulfill God’s purpose. (Tweet this)

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