Tuesday, May 5, 2015

on purpose



I was born wanting to change the world.

Ever since I can remember, I have been long-term minded. I have never been able to carelessly cast aside the heavy things of life for momentary fun or entertainment; I have never been able to let go of this sense that I was made to do something bigger and better than I am. “I am Loki, and I am burdened with glorious purpose.”

And as long as this has been the case, I have been dually frustrated by not knowing what that purpose is. I fight with it and struggle against it. I wrestle with the balance between passion and contentment, between pushing myself to do more and remembering to ask God if “more” is really the plan of attack right now. Sometimes the brutal truth is that my obsession with finding purpose is actually an idolization of achievement. Sometimes I know that all these great things I want to do are more about me, boosting my ego and making me feel better about myself and soothing my fear of being useless, than about whatever “cause” they might help. Sometimes I am driven back to 2 Samuel 7, a chapter that has been my refuge since I was in GCBI, and I have to read and re-read until I remember that the right thing to do might not be the right thing for me to do; that my greatest purpose in this life might simply be to raise up a generation with a greater purpose than mine; that what matters is not what I make of myself, but what I have allowed God to make of me.

It is funny how God chooses to speak. On Saturday, I was in the middle of photographing a wedding reception in Tacoma when He spoke to me about this. Each guest was given the opportunity to write a few words of marriage advice for the newlyweds; I happened to look down and see what my Dad wrote on his sheet, and in the middle of my work I got that tight-throated, teary-eyed feeling that comes right before a dissolution into tears. He wrote:

Do not get so focused on the destination that you miss the journey. The journey is the purpose.

And I wonder if all this time I’ve been missing the point. I wonder if all this time, I’ve been bypassing the investment into people and relationships that actually matter because I’m too busy fishing for the Big Thing I’m going to do. I wonder if I have been plunging forth to build a temple that God did not ask for, rather than simply offering up the temple He already has here—my body—as a living and holy sacrifice for Him to work in as He pleases?

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.    1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.    Romans 12:1-2


I can only say with King David, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18b). Who am I to demand a bigger calling when I have not been faithful in my small one? Who am I that God uses me for any purpose at all?

1 comment:

  1. this is beautiful and I hope whatever your purpose is you could reach it and bless others with it too..



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