I take that from Ecclesiastes 9:10 – “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
It is my observation that far too many people in today’s society seem to have no purpose in life. They have no real direction and are drifting aimlessly through life moving from one crisis to the next. Some lament their condition and express their unhappiness with life as well as everyone and everything around them. Some become disgruntled and bitter unable to enjoy even the simplest things and live with envy and hate toward those who have discovered purpose in life. They see themselves as victims and nothing is their fault.
Sadly, unless we find purpose in life and prepare for that purpose on a daily basis, we are subject to becoming entrapped in the mentality of defeat, hopelessness, and bitterness. I read an article recently about a church ministry trip to Guatemala. The team went there to build church buildings in some of the most remote portions of that country. They stayed in humble facilities called hotels.
The members of the team saw the impoverishment of the people and expected to see people with no purpose or pride. One member of that team reflected on a walk through the village and saw something that changed his outlook on the people they came to help and shaped his vision for his own future.
He saw an elderly man in his 70s or 80s (not old at all to me anymore) working on a small strip of land between the sidewalk and curb. It was infested with weeds. What got this man’s attention was the way the man dressed. He wore a long-sleeved shirt and pants both off-white and tan. He had on boots that were almost knee high and his trousers tucked into the boots. The man also had on a leather apron that started at his chest and ran almost to his knees. He also wore a wide-brimmed straw hat and had on gloves. He had two tools with him, a hoe, and a rake nearby.
He said the apron reminded him of a farrier’s or blacksmith’s apron and he determined that this man had probably done something like that for a living but due to age and physical condition could no longer follow that occupation. What impressed him was the way the man, regardless of physical condition or age prepared himself for what he was doing as if it was his assigned responsibility. He had a purpose in life and pursued it with preparation and excellence. His wife did the same in their little hovel, keeping it neat and tidy. They had purpose and took pride in what they did.
I am retired or at least semi-retired (not sure you ever retire fully). I no longer go to an office to work and sometimes find it easy to not dress for the occasion. I was told long ago that the way we dress for the day is reflective of the importance we place on what we are doing or not doing that day.
I believe that purpose in life is rooted in two things. For me, it is my faith in God, number one, and my commitment to excellence, accountability, and responsibility, number two. I have adopted the directive of the Bible found in Colossians 3:23-24 – “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.”
I see the younger generation exhibiting a lack of commitment to excellence, and many are devoid of any sense of responsibility or accountability. They are transient in their lives and move from job to job, place to place, relationship to relationship with no sense of permanence. We have been taught that by our tolerance and lack of discipline.
Many people work for money! You may say, that’s what we all do. However, I believe and have long taught that you should pursue what you have a passion for as a vocation in life. Early in my adulthood, I realized through a series of events that my passion was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I wanted to preach, teach, and disciple hungry souls for Kingdom purposes. I have, at times, found myself having to take secular employment to supplement my income. Not all those jobs were in the same realm as my passion but temporarily, I did them. That being said, I have always attempted to do it with my all and do it as unto the Lord.
We have allowed technology, political correctness, lack of discipline, and entitlement to produce a generation or generations of people without any sense of purpose in life. They have no real purpose and lack the necessary pride to drive them to get off the sofa, reject the government handout, and seek to be gainfully employed, providing for their own. We through government programs have enabled the mindset of laziness and lack of purpose. We have made it easy to lack diligence and any sense of an entrepreneurial spirit. Yet, those same people are bitter toward those who work and have amassed any level of fortune.
I believe that inner peace comes only from knowing God’s purpose for our lives and once we know that we become better laborers for Him and better citizens. Some insist that it is difficult to know the will and purpose of God, but I say, not so! I believe that the purpose of God can easily be discovered in what He has caused you to be passionate about. Yet too many drift without preparing for success and committing themselves to any purpose and cause. Too many fail to assume any responsibility and are not held to any standard of accountability.
Our society and our government have sought to eliminate God and the Bible for all things public. We have demanded that there is no absolute truth and that everything must be equal. In our endeavor to level the playing field and make everything equal and fair, we have destroyed the inner drive to excel and stripped people of their purpose in life. We have made it too easy to drift and lost our work ethic and vision. The American Dream has stood on the platform of a willingness to pursue a dream and work hard. The American Dream embodied accountability and responsibility.
America, in its infancy, was filled with people who believed that if allowed to pursue their passion they could succeed. They did not expect the government to provide for them, only that the government would not interfere and limit their ability to pursue their dream and purpose. They understood that the harder they worked the luckier they were and that their labors could produce great rewards. They dreamed big dreams and dared to pursue them with passion. They accepted the responsibility for their success or failure and were accountable for their actions.
We have generations who see no harm in looting, rioting, maiming and destroying private property. They accept no responsibility for their actions and often cry ‘racism’ if challenged held accountable. They have been taught they are entitled to have what another has or equal to that without the labor that person invested. We have destroyed ourselves and lost purpose and vision. I am praying that we can reclaim that, and it begins in the home where mother and father teach their children. They teach them both in words and actions. They must demonstrate what they teach.
I know this may be a bit different type of blog post, but I want to see America restored to her former greatness but do not believe that possible without a return to what made her great. I believe that it all begins with the heart and mind of individuals. I believe that without a return to moral practices, personal responsibility, and accountability, and a return to God, we will continue on the path of destruction.
I ask that you join me in praying for America and those who live in this great land! May God help us to adopt the directive of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and return to Him.
God bless you and God bless America.