I've been thinking a lot about meaning and purpose lately. These ideas play a huge role in the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rhythm of our lives. When we feel like we have a purpose, we carry ourselves differently. Think of a trip to your local mall, if you're there to waste some time or just window shop your stride is more casual and relaxed. You look like you are in no particular hurry to get anywhere. On the other hand if your time is limited and you're on a mission, your pace quickens, you keep your head down and your focused on getting in and getting out as quickly as possible.
The same is true our purpose or lack of purpose in our everyday lives. When we lack purpose, our pace slows, we care less about things, we tend to wander aimlessly. Interestingly, there has been some research to suggest that purposefulness and meaning in our lives could be connected to diseases such as Alzheimer's. Ron Brafman in his book, "Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail" says,
"Although we think of Alzheimer's as chiefly a biological disease that's governed by genetic facts, the level of meaningfulness in our lives plays an important role in determining whether we succomb to this illness."
He goes on to say,
"Regardless of gender and cultural background, the researchers found, meaning in life influences one's risk of developing Alzheimer's across the board."
Having seen first hand the devastation that Alzheimer's can cause I was struck by the suggestion that purpose and meaning in life could greatly reduce one's chances of developing this awful disease. While I'm not qualified to speak on a cognitive level I can say with confidence that God has planted a purpose in the heart of every man. Perhaps we have fallen prey to a spiritual Alzheimer's. We have forgotten why we were created. The memories of why we exist have slipped into the unattainable recesses of our minds. If that describes you, allow me to remind you of a few things.
You were created by God, for His purposes.
Implanted deep within you is a innate longing to accomplish.
You were wired to achieve.
I'm not speaking of accomplishment and achievement in the way that much our world describes it. I'm speaking of something greater. I'm speaking of something far more significant.
Paul reminds the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
He says in Ephesians 3:20, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."
Don't buy into the lie that your life is pointless. Don't buy into the lie that your achievements or accomplishments are about money or status or rungs on the corporate ladder. You were made for an eternal purpose.
It's Sunday night and I love Sunday nights because they represent the launch of a new work week. It's a fresh start. It's a new beginning of sorts. I invite you to join me in making this next week a week of purposefulness and meaning. Not for your glory but for God's glory. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.