Today, Melissa at Breath of Life is asking:
What is our purpose?
That’s a question I’ve struggled with for years. And, no, I’m not exaggerating. Why am I here? Who – what – am I? What am I supposed to do? And how am I supposed to do it? And how do I balance X with Y and Z? Sometimes I feel like I have a whole wardrobe full of hats to wear and none of them match my outfit!
When I read Melissa’s question a Bible verse floated into my mind – you are the light of the world. It’s from the Beatitudes which you can read in the NRSV here.
Now, I’m no Bible scholar although that’s a hat I would like to wear. But this passage says to me that our purpose isn’t constrained to our job or our state in life or our ministry or our Church life or any of the things people might label ‘my purpose.’ Our purpose is to keep our lights bright and shining so that the world can see the Way. We are all called to shine our lights in the places we find ourselves – at school, at home, at work and, yes, at Church. Looking at it this way, the situation we’re in doesn’t matter nearly as much as our response to it.
It’s our job, our purpose, to keep our own light in good working order. To me, that means receiving the Sacraments, spending time with Jesus and avoiding the occasions of sin which tarnish and stain. We’re all on a journey and we need plenty of light to see the Way. When I see your light shining ahead of me I know where I’m going. And maybe there’s someone a little further behind me who also needs to see my light up ahead.