“Everyone’s life is driven by something: many are driven by things like guilt, resentment, anger, fear, materialism, and the need for approval” (Rick Warren, 2002).
Who is Driving the Bus?
A dictionary definition of drive is to guide, to control, or to direct. One of the questions that we are focusing on today is what the driving force in our life is. Having a focused, central purpose to life that is rooted in a relationship with Him translates into a way of living that places God at the center of existence. The thought that comes to mind is that God calls us in to a life to be who we are in terms of a relationship with Him. At this point I am reminded again of the fact that, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever” (The Baptist Catechism). So, in other words, a primary goal of being a innately –natural, authentic Christian who is driven by purpose is that a relationship with Him needs to be the defining characteristic of what drives the bus. Unfortunately, most of us have grown up in a world where we have told to conform, forced to conform, and expected to conform. The environmental invalidation stifles creativity within and individuals become programmed by society and cultural expectations and we live a life of being driven by things, people, and expectations instead of purpose.
Reflection about Spiritual Direction: What or Who is Pushing Your Buttons?
Have you ever taken time to think reflectively about what is driving your behavior in life? It is an interesting question because I see people every day who are getting their buttons pushed by something or someone and they spend their time living a reactive rather than a proactive life. In a life of being who God created you to be, is important to understand that the reason why we are just reacting is that we have not developed a comfort level with the way God made them and confidence enough to act beyond the influence and expectations of others. Therefore, they get in the trap of conformity and are afraid to color outside the lines because of what others expect, a desire to please, and the fear of personal rejection.
What does the Bible say about drive and motivation for behavior?
“Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4Living Bible).
The answer is that any efforts to live a life of trying to be like others or being driven by anything less than the purpose of God for life is spending time, effort, energy, resources, and time on something that will never be achieved. Solomon called it “chasing the wind”. When things outside of their purpose in life drive people, the person God created them to be, life turns into an empty pursuit that is never satisfying, stressful, and is not true to our true nature. Therefore the key to harnessing the drives that lead to chasing to wind is to begin with a discovery process of individual purpose and who God created us to be.
Purpose provides a place to harness and direct the thing that will drive us forward.
“The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder – waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you” (Thomas Carlyle).
The truth is that nothing matters more than knowing God’s purpose for your life, and nothing can bring satisfaction and wholeness in life like knowing who God created you to be a s an individual creation of God.
Some of the benefits of living to be what God created you to be in a a purpose-driven life is that it:
Gives meaning to your life and defines where to put your energy..
Simplifies your life and keeps you from chasing the wind.
Focuses your life on what is important to magnify your relationship with God.
It motivates you to live with an upward and inward focus that leads you to the future that God has for your life.
A central component of purpose is that it prepares you in this life to be fully developed as you enter eternity. Remember that you were not put on earth to be creating an image for others to commit to memory. Every believer was put in this world to “glorify God and to enjoy him forever” (The Baptist Catechism). Surrendering to who you are in Christ in a life of discipleship and purpose is so that we will be conformed to the image of Christ in this life to enter the next life with a clear knowledge of who God created us to be now and then.
Everyone suffers with the problem of being driven by the wrong thing at times. What we can remember is that “Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.” This is such a significant point and intentional statement. It is important because it magnifies the dual responsibility to surrender to having a purpose, but also acting in faith and knowledge in response to who God is in reality. Each person must live for the purpose for which God has designed; otherwise, whatever meaning seems to be obtained through living for lesser purposes will evaporate in eternity ahead.
Something that may important to remember is that people who don’t know their purpose try to do too much and that causes the elevation of stress, fatigue, and conflict. Indeed it is tempting to have one’s finger in many pies, but are they our pies to have our fingers in all of the time? What we will discover is that when we have stripped life of the inessentials that do not contribute to who God created us to be and aligns with purpose, life will become more productive and satisfied.
When the right thing drives us we will discover that purpose always produces passion and that nothing energizes a life like a clear sense of purpose. Perhaps this is why most of the Christians I meet have so little passion for the Kingdom of God. They are not living with a clear vision of the purpose for which God has created them or functioning in that purpose.
An important fact to accept is that given enough time, all your trophies will be trashed. If that strikes you as negative and pessimistic; then, you have not read Ecclesiastes enough to understand the importance of a life without a purpose. If reading the message of Ecclesiastes depresses you, it must be because you do not understand what Solomon is saying. In a simple statement of truth, the message of Ecclesiastes is “Meaning and satisfaction are not found in any of life’s components; they are found only in life’s Creator”.
- Book Review: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (saltthroughlight.wordpress.com)
- It’s Not About YOU! (vetview.wordpress.com)
- Purge with Purpose ~ Sculpting a Life of Less (lifeschoolinc.wordpress.com)
- DJ Grothe on An Atheist’s Purpose in Life (patheos.com)
- Rick Warren’s ‘Purpose Driven Life’ Quote Featured on Starbucks Cups (christculturenews.com)
- 10 Things You Need to Know About Purpose … (aliveatwork.wordpress.com)
- It takes Adversities in LIFE to discover our True Purpose in LIFE… (stervelim.com)
- Book Review: The Purpose Driven Life (debrakb.blogspot.com)