Friday, March 8, 2013

The Purpose Driven Life - Day 1, 2 and 3

Pastor Rick states that through this book, and through your journey, you will find the answers to 3 of life's most important questions:

The Question of Existence:
Why am I alive?

The Question of Significance:
Does my life matter?

The Question of Purpose:
What on earth am I here for?

Through the outline, Pastor Rick states: 

Living out the purpose you were created for moves you beyond mere survival and success to a life of significance - the life you were meant to live. 

Further offering the 'Five benefits of knowing your purpose:'

  1. It will explain the meaning of your life.
  2. It will simplify your life.
  3. It will focus your life.
  4. It will increase your motivation.
  5. It will prepare you for eternity.


So here we go.  Because I am on day 3 of the journey, I will do the first three days in this one post - subsequent days will be done with individual daily postings. 

 Day 1 - It All Starts With God

This chapter begins with a sobering realization: "It's Not About You."

This is contrary to everything we've been taught in out lives isn't it?  We are schooled to believe that is is all about us.  How we want it, when we want it, where we want it.  Many of us live our lives this way - we are conditioned to know what we want and how to get it. And then we want more - because we are not satisfied with what we have.

So for many people it will come as quite the shock that in fact it is not about us, but in fact it is about God.  For it is because of God's will, that we are here. 

For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible,... everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. - Colossians 1:16 (MSG)

Day 2 - You Are Not An Accident

When Pastor Rick was on Oprah's show he touched upon this, and it struck me like a brick to the head.  He states that although there may be accidental parents - there are no accidental babies.  We learn through this chapter and Pastor Rick's sermon that God intended us long before we were ever born. That even though our parents may not have planned us - God did!

We are all a part of God's plan.  He knew what our race, hair color, eye color, body type, city of birth and yes - what our lives would be.  Everything about us has been predetermined by God. 

Pastor Rick sums up this lesson with a poem written by: Russell Kelfer

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb.
You're just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

I absolutely adore this poem! It really spoke to me. It touched me deeply, and I think it hits the nail on the head as to how we got here.  

Knowing that God created us to be unique. That we were made with intention, His intention. That God makes no mistakes. Therefore we are not a mistake - or accident. This chapter invites us to consider what areas of our personality, background and physical appearance we are struggling to accept.

How thought provoking! Sometimes it is hard to examine ourselves - it can be uncomfortable - it is work.  How many of us do not like our nose, or our hips, or our curly/straight hair? I am no different. I wish I was a size 6. I wish my past/background could have been different.  But once we are refocused in knowing that we were planned - every hair on our head was planned .... we must accept every one of those hairs.  Every freckle. Every inch on our hips.  

Ok, ok - I am working on it! 

"I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born." - Isaiah 44:2 (CEV)

Day 3 - What Drives Your Life?

I genuinely believe that although I am only on the 3rd day - each chapter/lesson is better than the one before it.  Each forces us to take a hard, hard look at ourselves. To examine truths we often times want to ignore.

This lesson teaches that the majority of us allow our lives to be driven by: guilt, anger, fear, materialism or the need for approval.  Is it just me or does it feel like Pastor Rick knows me? Or is it just that he has an innate ability to understand human condition? 

Chapter 3 goes on to explain that we need to really streamline our lives, trimming the fat of what is unnecessary in our lives.  That living a purpose driven life includes a life that is more simplistic, focused and motivated.  Guiding us to prepare through purpose for eternal life. 

It is clear that a life of purpose and peace may only be realized through a Christ centered life. 

"You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you." - Isaiah 26:3 (TEV)