Monday, September 10, 2012

The Purpose-Driven Life, Day 1

Almost a year ago, my brother got me a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren — whether for my birthday or for christmas, I cannot recall now. I initially started reading it, but like a lot of things, I lost interest and moved on to more "interesting" things.

In the last month, I've found myself asking some major questions, then suppressing the questions to keep the familiar. My life seemed not to make any sense any longer, some issues facing my family, and finally, my best friend and I broke up. Perhaps someone saw a tweet about casual sex and alcohol. I'd been running on empty for a long time, and that last last blow hit me square. I still haven't recovered, even though I've learned to put on a brave face.

Today, I picked up my copy of The Purpose-Driven Life and began to read. Really (attempt to) read, and not do the high-speed skimming I've become so used to. From today, over the next couple of days, I will be chronicling my experience reading that book — not necessarily for anyone's sake except mine, but maybe someone might be blessed by my climbing out of what is for me, a very dark hole.

Today's chapter is It All Starts With God. Rick talks about the fact that we're created by God, created for Him, and expected to live His purpose. The first words Rick writes in chapter 1 are: It's not about you. I got thinking about this, especially in the context of everything that had been happening, and I asked, "What about me? Who's going to take care of me? If everything is about God, then do I get anything out of this gig?". I realize this will probably rub someone the wrong way, but fact is, I'm still hurting. I don't care that I had a revelation or an inkling that I was going to lose my best friend, it still hurts.

I'm sorry. Or at least that's what old, suppressed me would say. But I'm not. I don't think God's sorry for ending what was a major bright spot in my mostly dark (at least in my, arguably extremely negative, opinion) life, and I'm not going to pretend that I don't have trouble believing some things I've heard and seemed to have received since.

Rick says we don't get to choose our purpose. God has His own plan, and didn't hold a meeting to get our input, feedback or consensus before making it. We can either speculate about our purpose, or get a revelation of it (did I mention already that I'm having trouble making sense of my life as a whole?). And I got thinking about it, and asking, "what about me? Does God realize I'm hurting here? And if, like I believe, He took away something precious, and it's His plan, do I get any benefits?" And I was made to recall this: For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live] (Ephesians 2:10, The Amplified Bible).

For some reason, I remembered a song that was popular sometime during my school days: The Potter's Hand by Darlene Zschech and Hillsongs, and began singing it. My troubles haven't ceased. I still miss my best friend and I know I hope we get back together again, even if I say I've moved on. But I'm going to choose to believe God, that He took because He had better to give, to both of us. God help me, because like Rick quotes:

Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.
– Matthew 16:25, The Message

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