Story was told of a businessman and he was in a real hurry. He had just touched down in New York from a flight, and was rushing to an important meeting. As he jumped into the taxi, he yelled out to the driver, “Step on it!” Sensing the driver’s hesitation, the businessman demanded, “Well, what are you waiting for?” So the driver shifted into gear, mashed his foot down unto the accelerator pedal and off they went, zooming in and out of traffic. After a while, the businessman said, “Hey, aren’t we going in the wrong direction?” The driver replied, “Sir, you told me to go fast, but you didn’t tell me where to go!”
Sounds ridiculous? Not so. Many of us are running in life at a very fast pace, but have we ever paused to ask ourselves, “Is our life heading in the right direction?” Pace without direction leads to destruction. This morning, I would like for us to consider what is the meaning and purpose of your life.
Several years ago, one of the best selling books around the world was Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”, because we are all asking ourselves this fundamental question, what’s the reason for my existence. Is there something more to life than the pursuit of money, sex, power, pleasure? Beyond the endless tutorials/assignments/competitions/performances? Jesus says yes. In the gospel of John, Jesus makes a remarkable statement, 10:10, “I came that they (you) may life, and might have it abundantly.” The abundant life, a full and meaningful life is what Jesus offers to you and I. Why does He have the authority to say this? Let me illustrate.
The following two pictures I’m going to show you are pictures of two kinds of cars: the first is a formula 1 racing car…
The second is a land rover…
Let me ask you a question. Which car is faster? How many of you would say the formula 1 racing car is faster? How many of you would say the land rover? How many of you are asking is this a trick question? The answer of course is… it depends. It depends on what kind of road we’re talking about. On a flat, paved road, the racing car would obviously be faster than a land rover. However, if the terrain was uneven or mountainous, the land rover would be faster, the racing car would get stuck.
You see, purpose has everything to do with design. The racing car was designed to go fast on flat ground. The land rover was designed to tackle uneven ground. Purpose has everything to do with design. And the Grand Designer of our lives is God Himself. He created us, fashioned us, gave us each gifts, talents, abilities. If we come to God, and allow Him to guide us, we will discover the purpose of our lives and in Jesus, live a meaningful and abundant life. John 10:10 “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
Over the years, many people have asked me why I went into Christian ministry as my vocation when my area of studies was Civil Engineering. And the best answer I can give is: this was where God guided and led me. I was in my third year of four in NUS and most of my peers were already deciding on the area of specialisation and even the the firm or company they would pursue upon graduation. For me, I had a sense that it was not engineering. As I was reading the Bible one day, one verse jumped out at me, Isaiah 49:6, “I will also make you a light of the nations, so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” God was speaking to me that I would be involved in telling others about His gospel, His good news, proclaiming His salvation.
Some time later at a para-church camp I was involved in, the speaker on the last night of the camp challenged young people to give their lives to full-time Christian ministry and the verse he chose was Isaiah 49:6, the very verse God had spoken to me previously. It was clear, God was speaking, and I obeyed. Yes, there were sacrifices that had to be made, but over the years, I have seen the faithfulness of God in my life.
Recently, a young man whom I got to know during my time in St. Andrew’s Secondary School, sent me a message over Facebook, thanking me for a seminar I had co-conducted – it was concerning sexual purity – and he said I was the one who had signed his pledge card. (He still has it!) And he said that it was a significant milestone in his life that helped him tide through a period of great temptations.
This one, of many snapshots of interactions I’ve had with students over the course of my life, really encourages me and demonstrates to me God’s purpose for my life. So, here’s the one thought I want to leave with you as I end: that God’s purpose for your life invariably involves being a blessing to other people. Always. My prayer is that you would each discover the purpose that God created you for; that you might be a blessing to the world.