Everything Ends Eventually

Everything Ends Eventually

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.” Exodus 25:1-2

As I’ve mentioned recently, since February, I’ve been in the middle of a month’s-long, worldwide CrossFit competition with four stages. At each stage, I’ve had to qualify for the next by comparing my performance in various workouts to others in my age group around the world. It’s something I’ve spent a significant amount of time training for over the last year, but this past weekend, my season ended abruptly as I failed to qualify for the finals. It was disappointing, but not entirely surprising. So, yesterday morning, as I got up early, there was a palpable void in my life. Now what?

I’ve been so focused on competing over the last year, that a significant part of my identity has become wrapped up in this thing that is suddenly over and gone. I knew it would end sometime, and I knew from previous experience that there would be a letdown, but still, the sense of emptiness was real. I’m not saying it was wrong to do it, and I’m not saying I won’t start the whole cycle over again soon. I am saying that I should learn this truth from it – My ultimate purpose and meaning must be built on something more permanent than an athletic competition.

This, to me, is the lesson of today’s passage. In the narrative, God instructed his people on how to construct their society. To start, they all had to contribute financially to a collective effort, building an existence that was pointed at God. The passage provides significant detail about how they must use their gold, silver, and bronze to craft an ark of the covenant, a table for bread, a golden lampstand, and a tabernacle. They were to give of their own possessions to build a world centered on faith. God did this to teach them to daily seek him and his will, relying on him for their direction, purpose, and meaning. In doing so, the Israelites built their lives upon something that would never leave them and that no one could ever take away.

What am I building my life upon? Where do I find my purpose and meaning? These were the questions I found myself asking yesterday. Thankfully, I was able to see that my life is about so much more than just a silly athletic competition. I’m sober. I have a wonderful wife. My kids are home for the summer. I have a great career. And most of all, I’ve got an intensely personal relationship with God, my heavenly father, which nothing and no one can ever take away. That is where I find my joy, purpose, and meaning and that is something worth building my life upon.

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