Saturday, February 25, 2012

excerpt from "In the Grip of Grace" by Max Lucado


The following conversation occurred between a canary in a cage and a lark on the window sill. The lark looked in at the canary and asked, "What is your purpose?"
"My purpose is to eat seed."
"What for?"
"So I can be strong."
"What for?"
"So I can sing," answered the canary.
"What for?" continued the lark.
"Because when I sing I get more seed."
"So you eat in order to be strong so you can sing so you can get seed so you can eat?"
"Yes."
"There is more to you than that," the lark offered. "If you'll follow me I'll help you find it, but you must leave your cage."

It's tough to find meaning in a caged world. But that doesn't keep us from trying. Mine deep enough in every heart and you'll find it: a longing for meaning, a quest for purpose. As surely as a child breathes, he will someday wonder, "What is the purpose of my life?"

Some search for meaning in a career. "My purpose is to be a dentist." Fine vocation but hardly a justification for existence. They opt to be a human "doing" rather than a human "being". Who they are is what they do, consequently they do a lot. They work many hours because if they don't work they don't have an identity.

For others, who they are is what they have. They find meaning in a new car or a new house or new clothes. These people are great for the economy and rough on the budget because they are always seeking meaning in what they own.

Still others seek meaning in who they sire. They live vicariously through their kids. Woe be unto the kids. It's hard enough being a youngster without also being someone's reason for living.

Some try sports, entertainment, cults, sex, you name it.

All mirages in the desert of purpose. "Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they become utter fools instead". (Romans 1:22)

Shouldn't we face the truth? If we don't acknowledge God, we are flotsam in the universe. At best we are developed animals. At worst we are rearranged space dust....

Contrast that to God's vision for life: "We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to devote ourselves to the good deeds for which God has designed us". (Eph. 2:10)

With God in your world, you aren't an accident or an incident; you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God.

One of the greatest gifts I ever received is a football signed by thirty former professional quarterbacks. There is nothing unique about this ball. For all I know it was bought at a discount sports store. What makes it unique is the signatures.

The same is true with us. In the scheme of nature Homo sapiens are not unique. We aren't the only creatures with flesh and hair and blood and hearts. What makes us special is not our body but the signature of God on our lives. We are His works of art. We are created in His image to do good deeds. We are significant, not because of what we do, but because of whose we are.

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