Born for This
For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. John 18:37
Having observed a friend sustain significant weight loss, I recently asked her how she’d done it. I’ve always struggled with my weight and I’m interested (albeit somewhat jealous) in those who’ve been successful. As she detailed the radical dietary and lifestyle changes she’d implemented, I became discouraged. I think I was hoping that she had some secret pill that would fix my appetite. When she described all work it took to get to where she was, I realized I didn’t really want to hear her answer anymore.
I often do this. I think I want to know something, but then, in finding out, I discover that I didn’t really want to know. Today’s passage may be one of those times. In the story, Jesus was interrogated by Pilate who asked him if he was the king of the Jews. Jesus, who had no political aspirations, answered that he was born for the purpose of bringing truth to the world.
When I read that, I was struck by how Jesus was so singularly motivated by a crystal clear life mission. What if I had that kind of life clarity about my life purpose? I wish I knew exactly what it was that God wanted me to do. Do I really want to know though? Jesus was born to die on a cross. That sounds terrible. I think I want to know God’s purpose for me, but what if that purpose conflicts with my personal preferences?
I’ve said repeatedly that my drug addiction was only a symptom of my greatest underlying problem, which is that I simply want to live my way. If God has a life purpose for me, I’d bet it doesn’t involve living every day according to my own nature. So, I’ve got to ask myself again, Do I really want to know my life purpose? If I knew, would I be willing to make the changes necessary to fulfill that purpose?
The truth of course, is that I already know what God wants from me. He wants me to abandon my self-destructive behavior so that I can love and follow him every day. He wants me to love my neighbor as I love myself. In knowing that purpose, I realize it’s now my choice to either follow myself to misery, or to daily pursue the life for which I was born.