So, in Uganda last night, Michele and I sat with the Coppedges around their dinner table, exchanging wonderful stories about Jesus and the ways He has worked in our lives. Jesus is really fabulous, friends.
Yes, I do absolutely love to hear people, but that’s not why Jesus created me. That’s just a pleasure, a joy, or a tool that Jesus gave me for this life.
Purpose is not a hard one for me. I know why I exist on this earth. It is not a race or competition. It is not a constant striving to achieve. It is not a lust for things that bring me comfort or entertainment. No. It is none of these things.
I was created by God with a purpose. Just like Adam and Eve were given a threefold purpose at creation (relationship with God, relationship with others, and care for the earth), so I was created with a very similar threefold purpose. I believe that all human purpose is some variation of the threefold purpose of Adam and Eve. The difference comes in that our world has been ravaged by sin and its consequences. Now, we are all called to restore the world to God’s best plan. To achieve this best plan, God calls us each to work toward fulfilling this purpose in slightly different ways, according to our unique designs. I exist to know God, love people, and invite the Kingdom of God to come close.
Because joy is one of my foundational values, when I imagine my calling, I look first at the things within me that bring great joy. Theologian Frederich Buechner is often quoted as saying, “Vocation is that place where your great joy meets the world’s great need.” I believe my calling is born out of these inclinations that God has placed within me. God gives me great joy in meaningful relationships, the beauty of His creation, and in seeing the broken healed and made new.
Since I was a child, I have known God was calling me to fight for something. I have always been defiant of unjust authorities. From an early age, when my heart screamed, “IT’S NOT FAIR!” I resolved to do something to fix it. Some people grow to accept the world as an unfair place, but I refuse to accept it. If it is unfair, we will change it. Some of the injustices that weigh heavy on my heart are the injustices of war, human trafficking, and poverty. These are all enormous issues, but I recognize that they are all profoundly connected by the sinful, hateful, self-seeking, greedy heart of humankind. The message of God brings hope to each of these issues! The Gospel declares,“THERE IS A BETTER WAY!
COME AND TASTE THE KINGDOM OF GOD!”The desire to invite the Kingdom of God is holistic. Valuing connection as I do, I realize that there is no injustice in this world that is independent of the master of injustice. Therefore, my call, which is forthcoming, is holistic. When I speak of “broken systems of this world,” I mean those of the physical and spiritual world. When I speak of the Kingdom of God, I mean the visible presence of God’s reconciliation on earth as well as His restoration of relationship to Him for the Kingdom to come!
I am called to fight the broken systems of the world, bringing the joyful message of the Kingdom to the oppressed through practical acts of love and words of peace.