Know Your Purpose

 

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Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes all things to work together

for good to those who love God,

to those who are called according to His purpose.

Teams work together to get things done quicker.  However, each team member has their own duties, so that the team can be more efficient.

Take a hockey team for instance, if everyone wanted to be the goalie, you wouldn’t have anyone on the ice, playing either offensively or defensively.  If everyone wanted to be a defenseman, there would be fights rather goals being made.  Hence, there is also a purpose for the penalty box.

Success of one person also takes a team of people who know what they’re suppose to be doing.  That person’s purpose is to ask others if they can help and delegate what they want from them.  If those that are helping don’t know what they’re suppose to be doing, success will not come.

Failures are apart of success.  It causes us to learn what works and doesn’t.  It forces the person who is searching for success to examine each part, each person in the ‘game’ and either decide to ‘cut’ them from the team or bring on other teammates.  It forces the person to examine which game plan to use.  

Each time they play, the other team has different strengths and weaknesses.  Therefore, the person looking to be successful has to adjust, hence learning from past mistakes.

If we know what our purpose is; we work towards glorifying God; and, know that it’s Him who works everything out, success, whether easy or sweaty, will come.

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Gluttony’s Answer-Psalms 100

glutton

Today’s reading from “The Screwtape Letters” by, C.S. Lewis, had to do with gluttony.  You may ask, “What does this have to do with being successful?”  EVERYTHING!

Gluttony has everything to do with wanting more.  It can be anything-money, time, food, relationships, i.e.  I always ask:

1.  Will wanting more of this make me into an ugly person?

2.  Will wanting more destroy the relationships I have?

3.  Will wanting more separate me from God?

I believe I had a previous post that had these same questions asked, about being successful.

In the book, “The Screwtape Letters”, Lewis points out two types of gluttony-Excess and Delicacy.  Excess is just wanting more stuff.  Delicacy is the wanting of things to be perfect, made by others, given to us.  Both can bring sadness and ungratefulness.  So, the answer is Psalms 100.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Now, one may say, “But, I need to do my best.”  Here’s a picture of someone wanting to do their best, yet it turns into gluttony:

sweaty manYou become uncomfortable, and require other stuff to ‘cover up’ this fact.  Lewis points out this with, “…must think of the medical side of chastity, feed him the grand lie which we have made the English humans believe, that physical exercise in excess and consequent fatigue are specially favourable to this virtue.”  He was writing this as when we overeat.  Oddly enough, this problem was already in existence during World War II, over 75 years ago!  How many times do we ‘workout’ the next day, after eating a feast meant for 4 people?  Yeah, you’re uncomfortable with all that food in your stomach.  How about readjusting your pillows so that you can sleep more comfortably?

What about looking  for new work, as that’s my situation, right now.  I can daily, pour over classifieds, call every temp agency in the world, apply to 5 different jobs, and go to a job fair every week.  Yes, I’ll feel exhausted!  In order to “fix’ the problem, I can then lie to my family or not even spend time with them, as to have more hours to devote to finding a new job.

The Lord is good.  He is faithful and will provide.  He meets us where we need to be met.  Therefore, I’m not going to be gluttonous in finding a new job.  I have my sanity, family, and my relationship with God to make me more successful.

More importantly, in order for me to be successful, I need to be thankful for what God has given me and acknowledge the fact that He has given me the best.

The Heart as a Mussel

Mussel Shell 1

Yes, this is a play on words.  But, when I took this photo, I immediately saw the shape of a heart.

The heart, the human heart, is quite a complex organ.  If it didn’t pump the blood through our bodies, we would die.  If it didn’t had any type of malfunction, it would cause other parts of the body to suffer as well.  Yet, the organ is only the size of a fist.

What’s so important about having a heart, when it comes to success?

1.  Even though “To have a heart”, literally doesn’t mean to possess physically a heart, it does mean to be gracious and giving.  Let’s go back to what the heart does for the human physical body…it gives life.  Since we have life, we need to give back.

2.  The size of a fist really ‘struck’ at me, as how we need to get through certain aspects of our life.  We do need to sometimes fight for our life.  Whether it’s a relationship that’s falling apart; a job that we hate, but need to go to; or, health issues that need to be taken care of.  The heart if overly used in negative situations, it will start to fall apart.  It will need to pump more blood, at a faster rate.  Not good.  This can lead to other problems.

3.  The heart can be re-started.  Whether it’s a metaphor of having a broken heart or literally, the heart stopped.  It can be mended and re-started.  It is when we’ve waited too long to re-start it take care of it, that we run into problems.

4.  Asking Christ into our heart.  I always thought why ask Him into our heart and not our brain?  What does the heart do?  It gives us life.  We can be brain dead.  But, if the heart can be mechanically pumped, it is still sending blood to other parts of the body.  The brain only sends neurowaves.  Christ gave us life, when He died on the Cross.  The blood goes through out the body, including the brain.  Christ’s death, the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and God’s love flows throughout the body, including the brain to direct in ways that will make us successful.

Success isn’t always measured with how much money we make; our place of residence; or, what we are physically possessing at that time.  Success sometimes appears differently to others, such as this picture.

Squish, Just Like Grape

desert street

Today, I was reading CS Lewis’s “Screwtape”, letter number 16.  It described lukewarm churches, and how that’s one way for Wormwood, Screwtape’s assistant to ‘worm’ his way through the subject at hand.  That was to start making him doubt going to church.

Successful people, whether they go to church or not, still have to make decisions.  God wants us to make wise decisions.  To be in a state of limbo for quite some time is being lukewarm.

What does it truly mean to be lukewarm?  It is indecisiveness.  You don’t know which way to go, so you walk in the middle, hoping that if you live both sides, you can survive.  Hah!

Revelations 3:15-16 (ERV) “I know what you do. You are not hot or cold. I wish that you were hot or cold! 16 But you are only warm—not hot, not cold. So I am ready to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say you are rich. You think you have become wealthy and don’t need anything. But you don’t know that you are really miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.

In this day and age, we can’t separate what is being lukewarm, indecisive, and that being balanced and knowing both sides to the argument.

Knowing both sides, is the intelligent way of making a decision.  God really wants us to be like this.  If we can truly know both sides, we easily can be gracious to all.  But, you still need to make a decision on which way to go.

Like the movie from the “Karate Kid”, Mr. Miyagi truly put this idea into an easy parable.  “You walk on the right side of the road.  It’s ok. If you walk on the left side of the road, it’s ok.  But, you walk in the middle, squish just like grape.”  He was explaining this to Daniel-san because he, Daniel, needed either be fully engaged in learning karate or not.  Mr. Miyagi couldn’t have a student who would only be half there.  He wouldn’t be able to fully engage himself in learning how to beat the bad guys in such a short training period.

End of harvest grape 'must', Napa Valley, California

As you can see, being squished isn’t all that lovely to look at.  If this were to be made into wine, the process would have to continue.  That’s the same with making decisions.  You have to be totally engaged and see to it to the very end.

Mirror, Mirror

mirror

Psalm 90:12New American Standard Bible (NASB)

12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

When you look at a mirror, what are you truly looking at?  The past, present, or future?

The Evil Queen looked at it for the future.  When you’re driving, you’re using it to look behind you.  In the morning, you’re looking into it to see what you currently look like.

Today, I read Psalms 90 and C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters,”  They both had to do with looking in the past, dealing with the future, and living in the present.

C.S. Lewis presented the idea that we can become complacent with the future-knowing that it will be taken care of, therefore, not doing anything in the present. Verse 12 gave the Biblical support.

As successful people, we don’t just look to the past, as in looking in the rearview mirror.  This is dangerous.  We can hit the person in front of us, or miss the opportunity that we’ve been looking for.  The only time we should be looking through the rearview mirror, is when we sense something is coming up from behind us.

We don’t just look at the present and not have any goals.  When we look in the mirror in the morning, it’s not to say, “Ok, here I am, that’s it.”  What we’re suppose to say is, “Here I am Lord, what should I do?”

There are times when we do need to look into the future.  Not so that we can dwell on the negative and hope that it goes away.  But, to give us Hope that what we are doing presently, will minimize the negative.

When C.S. Lewis wrote “The Screwtape Letters”, it was during WWII.  People were full of anxiety, due to the unknown of what would happen to human kind.  Those that survived and came out for the better, not only focused on the future for hope; but, dealt with the present and were grateful that they were alive.

Psalms 90:12, has us live in the present with urgency.  “Teach us to number our days”. Successful people know that there will come a time, when the end will arrive.  Therefore, they make each day count.  They get as much done as they possibly can.  In the end, learning daily, and having knowledge of the present, so that it can be a ‘present’ from God.  That present from God is going to help us get through the future.