Direction Determines Destination
I read something recently that really struck a chord with me – a challenging question that goes to the heart of our culture and commonly-held view of what a successful life looks like. The question is this; when you get to the end of your life, will you be content with lots of stuff... and a shrivelled soul?
I’m the first to admit I do crave some “stuff” but more than those material things (mostly having to do with bicycles, guitars and OK, maybe a sports car) I long for a truly fulfilled life – to live out the best version of myself I can – the version God created me to be.
If that’s true for you too, then you may find this next line of thinking helpful. If I want to achieve something (whether that’s the possession of a shiny new car or a fulfilled life) I need to take some action to take me towards that something, right?
In the case of, let’s say, buying a car, I can save up by choosing to spend less money on other things, or I can sell some stuff, or I can earn some more money. In other words I’d say “Right, I really want this... so what do I need to do? What will take me in the direction of the thing I want?”
Be in no doubt, wanting to arrive at a particular destination is not the same thing as heading in the correct direction. It’s no good saying “I want to get to the Lake District” and then driving round and round the M25 crying “Oh woe is me! Whenever will I get there!”
Like it or not, the direction we head in determines the destination we arrive at.
So if our intended destination is a more meaningful, fulfilled life... a God-centred soul that is full of joy... what direction should we head in?
At EBC in recent months, we’ve been looking together at going deeper as a church and we’ve considered a number of questions and talked about a vision for the future.
Let me challenge you to check your spiritual sat-nav, so to speak, by suggesting a few questions you might ask yourself to reflect on:
1) I want the truth and wisdom of the bible to permeate my life... Am I reading it regularly, or just watching TV and social media?
2) I want to live a life of worship and thankfulness, glorifying God.... Am I worshipping God wholeheartedly, or just a bit and only on Sundays, if I’m not too busy?
3) I believe in the principle of tithing and want to give generously and sacrificially... Am I? When did I last review my giving?
4) I want to be fully part of the church, which is the body of Christ... What does my commitment look like? Where am I serving?
5) My thoughts, feelings and actions should reflect my identity as a follower of Jesus... How often do I spare him a thought?
6) I know what the one big thing is that God has been whispering to me about... When will I respond?
7) I believe that God wants me to reach out to people who are lonely, poor, sick or sorrowing... How long will I shun them? When will I start opening my heart to them?
8) I want to submit to God and entrust Him... What’s my next step going to be... and when will I make it?
9) I want to make a positive difference... Am I performing on the pitch, or shrugging and sneering from the sidelines?
10) I believe in the power of prayer... When do I pray, for what and for whom?
11) I have much to be thankful for... When am I thanking God?
12) I don’t want to end up with a shrivelled soul... How and with what am I feeding it?