On December 31, 1969, I drove up to the home of Rosemary Nicks. We had met back in October, only briefly and had been dating since I came home for Christmas leave, only a couple of weeks before. I was very casually dressed and when she opened the door she was all “decked out.” She had obviously planned an evening out and I had not. In the 42 years since we have developed a tradition of not going out on New Years eve. It’s still a very significant date for us. On that evening 42 years ago I was coming to the end of the fabulous two weeks I had spent with Rose and didn’t want it to end. So I asked her to marry me. We were married the following May. I don’t recommend two week courtships for most folks; but it sure worked out for me. Thanks Rose.
As the New Year begins, we traditionally consider resolutions: diets, more bible reading, a better use of our time. I have never experienced much success with resolutions. I think we would do better to consider our Purpose. For most of us, our purposes in life arise from circumstances. On that wonderful New Years Eve 42 years ago, one of my main purposes in life, Rosemary’s husband, began. From it other purposes arose: father, grandfather, great grandfather, provider, etc. There is nothing wrong having purposes arise from circumstances, particularly if they are wonderful purposes such as these. I weep for the current generation which tends to avoid marriage and family and then can’t understand their feeling of loss and Purposelessness.
There are problems with these circumstanced-based purposes: when the situations change we find ourselves without purpose. When the nest empties, we find ourselves adrift. If a marriage fails, or we lose a job, we lose our sense of purpose.
It is important that we have a purpose driven life, with purposes that have eternal significance. We are put here for good reasons, including family. But we are here for more. What are our purposes? We should consider our areas of influence. Where and with whom can we make a difference? We should consider the leading of our Lord heard in times of meditation and prayer. We should ask our Lord, “What would you have me do?”
Finally, it’s good to translate purpose to everyday life. What am I being called to do today? What am I planning? Of those things on my calendar, what are of eternal significance? What can I do to make them of eternal significance?
Tonight we are “babysitting” with Nicky and Sam. Clearly a chance to fulfill one of our purposes. Why not do it in a special loving way? Why not do it such that it will have eternal signficance?
May God’s purposes in your life be clear. May He guide you to living them out in His will each day.