Today’s Pearls of Promise blog is provided by POP Creative Director Catherine Weiskopf. Catherine is the Co-author of If I Only Had…Wrapping Yourself in God’s Truth During Storms of Insecurity, the Pearls of Promise Devotional, and Faith Marker Journey. Catherine has also written three children’s math books. Catherine loves hearing stories of how God has intervened in people’s lives and has a passion for helping them pass on those encouraging, life-changing, God adventures.
A Purpose Driven Game
At the age of seven, my grandmother took me to the rolling green hills of our local golf course for my first lesson. With an adult sized-club in hand, one white dimpled ball, I knew I was supposed to hit the ball with the club. And so I did. As quickly as I could, I hit the ball, ran the ten yards to where it lay, hit it again, ran, hit, and ran, until I was the first one to sink the ball in the hole. I yelled “I won,” but of course being the first one with their ball in the hole is not the game of golf.
As a seven-year-old I was sure the objective of any game was to be faster than anyone else on the field. Tag worked that way, as well as the impromptu bike races down our street. Being first was my automatic go-to-purpose for any competition.
As a teenager I was sure popularity and looks were the purpose of my life game. When I grew a bit, a good job and success seemed the driving force. Over the years my set of automatic go-to-purposes often conflict with the real God-prescribed purpose. I know my purpose as prescribed by God: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . .Love your neighbor as yourself. (NIV Mark 12:30,31)
Even though I believe this truth and say it is the guiding principal of my life, I still often fall back into my automatic go-to-purposes. The current goal for my days seems to be how much I can get done. A happy day = red lines scratched off my to–do list. I say this because when I make decisions about what I’m doing each day, it has less to do with loving God and people and more to do with crossing tasks off my precious list. I fall back into playing a game that doesn’t get me anywhere, similar to hitting a dimpled ball and running across the golf course didn’t secure me a win.
Why do I do this? Because it’s hard to live my purpose. It’s hard to live a heart-open-God-purposed life. It feels sweet by vulnerable, peaceful yet unsteady, safe but risky.
One night while working on my writing, my husband snuck up on me and kissed me gently. It felt sweet and I felt squishy in side. I felt loved, and at the same time vulnerable. I resisted stopping my work, and turning the love, and kept on working. Why? Because it seems easier to live in a way that can be counted and measured, like money and check lists. With my almost holy to-do lists my results can always be measured. With loving others and God the results are unmeasurable, often unknown, and often don’t feel like a win.
Awareness of this problem is the first and crucial step. Realizing the choices we make, and the unconscious objectives bolstering them up, helps us to make more conscious choices based on the God’s purpose of life.
I think of Mary, one of Jesus’s friends, sitting at Jesus’s feet and Martha her sister running around the house trying to get a meal on the table. When Martha gets upset at Mary for sitting around doing nothing Jesus corrects her. He says, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41,42)
We as Christians make a commitment to a life style that is unmeasurable by world standards. We cannot check things off a list each day, we cannot measure our success by the dollars in our savings, or the number of invites to socialize each week. We have made a commitment to play the game of life by God’s rules.
While I’m not an avid golfer even today, I do realize the opportunity I missed that first day on the course by not playing the game the way it was intended to be played. Instead of frantically running I might have had a relaxing summer day walking the lush rolling hills of Iowa with my grandmother, chatting and laughing as we went. Someday, when I’m older and grayer I don’t want to look back and have the same sense of missed opportunity about my life.