Listen to the commentary
The Great Resignation is underway; are you among the 44% of workers who are looking for a new job?
It’s really nothing new: human experience is an ongoing search for meaning and purpose. Since one’s profession is the biggest time investment in life – 100,000 hours en toto – it only seems reasonable that the ultimate “why” would be found in your career. Is it? For most, that’s just not happening.
Ask “the Google”: “What is my purpose?” Your search will deliver 7.1 billion responses in .46 seconds. Lots of opinions regarding that mystery; do any of them really have the answer?
Allow me to address the question in the space of a page. If the Bible is a reliable source (and, it is), it begins with the origin story: Adam and Eve, placed in Paradise to live in harmony with their surroundings and their Creator. One restriction was placed in their path: only the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was off-limits. Their obedience was compromised by a serpent with a tempting alternative; that act of disobedience has been remembered as “The Fall,” and life was corrupted.
The first homicide occurred in their nuclear family: son Cain kills son Abel. Successive generations become more unhinged. God’s patience collides with the expanding human race and its accelerated moral decline: only Noah and his family are spared God’s judgment in The Flood.
Did mankind learn its lesson? Sadly, no. Noah and his family repopulate the earth, but the abandonment of God and His directives only accelerates. Ordered to multiply and disperse, the population clusters around Babel where they construct a monument to their independence from all-things godly. Heaven’s response: confuse their speech and establish nations – a global diaspora.
At that point – in Genesis 11 – the family line of Noah had been spread over the face of the planet. The biblical account zeroes-in on the family of Shem – one of Noah’s three sons – and lays out a genealogy that cites 10 generations over 400 years, ultimately landing on Abram (in Hebrew, “father of nations”).
Childless and old, Abram has an encounter with God that changes the game, forever: “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’” (Genesis 12:1-3).
God has no favorites… but He does have a plan. The man with no kids would become a father at 100 (Sarah, his wife, was 90); through Isaac, a great nation – Israel – would emerge. God would entrust Abram with much – a vast real estate empire, and resultant wealth – which would be the visible evidence of the blessing of God. Was it God’s plan to simply make one man – and his progeny – wealthy and protected?
The ultimate purpose woven into God’s revelation was clear: He would bless Abram and his family, so that they could distribute blessing to others. In fact, His plan was to bless all peoples – every nation – through Abram and his family.
God’s purpose – despite mankind’s constant rejection and disobedience – was to extend His blessing to all of the nations He established in response to the insurrection at Babel. How would He deliver that blessing? Through Abram’s family line: their calling was to be the distributors of God’s blessing to every people group.
For the next 20 Centuries, any of Abraham’s family had an answer to their question of life purpose: show their appreciation of God’s blessing by telling other nations about His greatness.
Having an answer to life’s ultimate question doesn’t ensure a purposeful life. Next week: the true story of a man who had precise clarity about his personal life mission, and how he responded.