Tough Questions and Bible Answers: Freedom and Mission

Tough Questions and Bible Answers:  Freedom and Mission

We’ve all heard young children share their dreams and aspirations. A young person might say: “When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut.” “When I grow up, I want to be a Fireman.” “When I grow up, I want to be the greatest . . .” Fill in the blank regarding whatever the greatest might be, children almost always have grand aspirations. I’d like to advance a thought, there is a joy that is connected with having a mission or purpose in life. Every child loves stories about heroes and great quests. Have you ever heard a heard a child (or any person for that matter) say: “I want my life to be boring and humdrum.” While we, at times, desire periods of relaxation and simplicity, we want our lives to mean something and have purpose.

Last week, in this column, I introduced the idea that every person is “free to become obligated.” The idea I’d like to discuss today is: “How do my choices in life affect the quality of my life?” While we all understand that making foolish choices often come back to haunt us, I’d like to take this conversation a bit deeper. Let me ask: “What is the purpose of your life?” For many people their agenda is simply to find joy, peace and contentment. How often do we attach joy, peace and contentment with toys, gadgets and stuff? Perhaps you have desired a bigger house. Maybe you have always wanted a certain car. Many people dream of having better paying jobs. It is my observation that when these “dreams” are realized, happiness is nowhere to be found. The promotion we always wanted simply turns into the next “step” of what often turns into a journey of many steps. One trophy is obtained and then we crave the next one.

While we are “free to become obligated”, we must understand that we cannot do anything and everything that might come into our imaginations. We all face limitations in this life. There is always someone or something to answer to. God tells us that we are free to choose who or what will be our master. For many people, money or possessions are what possesses their hearts and minds. Others crave power. Some want popularity. All must make a choice regarding what they think will bring happiness, joy and satisfaction. God tells us that we would be wise to choose him as our master. God encourages us to make his purposes the purposes we build our lives around. Jesus addresses this issue in the sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Jesus shares a number of sayings in which he essentially says that the one who seeks happiness ahead of righteousness (living life God’s way) gets neither. Then Jesus says that the one who seeks righteousness (living life God’s way) ahead of happiness gets both.

It is a given that all us want to have enjoyable, fulfilling lives. The question is whether we will live life God’s way. God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe. His instructions are sound and reliable. Being the “Great Designer,” God knows how life was designed to be lived. You are free to choose how you will live life. You are free to choose what “mission” your life will be dedicated to. Choose wisely. Keep looking up!