I spend a lot of time in my car. Even though I home school I joke with people that we are often not home. Like every parent with kids, we are busy with appointments, lessons, meetings, play dates, rehearsals and the dreaded grocery trips. Because I am in the car so often, I see a lot of bumper stickers, vanity plates and license plate frames. People like to make a statement with their cars.
Yesterday, my oldest daughter and I were on our way to her choir rehearsal. She pointed out that we were early so we had time to run through the Starbucks drive through. Honestly, it was cold and rainy so I didn't need much convincing. We pulled around and waited in line behind a station wagon. I looked through the rainy windshield and chuckled as I read their license plate frame. It read, "Outta my way, I'm going to Starbucks!" The irony was not lost on us - this person made a statement and they were following through! They had a mission statement on the back of their car and there was no doubt they were faithful to the mission!
This got me thinking about purpose. There is a reason why Pastor Rick Warren's book, A Purpose Driven Life has sold over 60 million copies world wide. People have an innate desire to know their purpose and to see it through. I think we complicate things and focus on the purpose of our entire lifetime and because the idea overwhelms us, we do nothing instead of doing something. Perhaps fulfilling God's purpose is much simpler than we think. Perhaps, we are meant to do the small things set before us on a daily basis and trust him to weave each day into a lifetime that makes a difference.
The Bible is full of characters who were simply obedient to do one thing that the Lord set before them. Some things seemed to be mundane tasks and some things were strange and unlikely. Nevertheless, the result of following through led to personal change, family change and eventually, world change. Here is a list of those people and their small acts of faithfulness:
- Zacchaeus climbed a tree
- The sick woman reached for His robe
- Rebecca watered the camels
- Gideon threshed the grain
- Anna worshiped at the Temple
- Noah built a boat
- Some soldiers marched around a wall
- A woman poured out some perfume
- Ruth gleaned
- Esther made a dinner reservation
And let us not forget the greatest act of obedience and fulfillment of purpose was carried out by Christ Jesus who set his face like a flint towards Jerusalem to complete His purpose.
No matter how great or small our daily tasks may be, we can be like the guy in the drive through, make a statement and follow through. Imagine your license plate frame. What might it say? "Outta my way, I'm ..." Even if your tasks are mundane, think of them as a mission that no one can stop. Here are some possible missions:
- Outta my way I'm giving my toddler a bath
- Outta my way I have to meet with my boss
- Outta my way I'm taking the dog to the vet
- Outta my way I need help with my finances
- Outta my way my wife would like a date night
What ever we do or whatever special assignments the Lord brings to mind should be treated as part of our purpose. Not every one of us will be a Mother Theresa or Jim Elliot. If we were able to speak with those two people today, I believe they would say they were only completing the jobs set before them, they did not expect to have books and movies made about their lives.
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love coffee. I'm fond of saying, "I can do all things with Christ and a cup of coffee." How gracious and loving of the Lord to bring to my mind His purpose and fulfillment while in line behind another seeker of rich, caffeinated goodness.