[caption id="attachment_5514" align="alignleft" width="150"] Allen Teal, Rolla Presbyterian Manor chaplain[/caption]
By Allen Teal, Rolla Presbyterian Manor chaplain
What gives life value? A few answers always seem to percolate to the surface. The responses often relate to a job, career or family. This works well for those who have achieved success. It is also fine for people who are blessed with a wonderful family. What about those who struggle from paycheck to paycheck doing work that means little to them or who come from dysfunctional or nearly non-existent families?
“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14, NIV).
In the book of Esther, Queen Esther was put into a position where if she did nothing, all of her people would be slaughtered. If she spoke up, she might be killed. Her relative pointed out to her that this was the defining moment of her life. It was why she had been elevated from obscurity to become the queen of Persia. Her reason for being alive was to save her people. Knowing this gave her the courage to risk her life and go before the king to plead the cause of her people.
"Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” (John 12:27, NIV).
In the New Testament unlike Esther, Jesus knew his purpose for living. He understood that his mission was to become the savior of mankind. Knowing this critical piece of information gave him the strength as a man to push through the hardships involved in attaining his purpose. Having a sense of direction and being able to focus on great goals that we hope to gain can give us the power to overcome the obstacles in our life.
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NIV).
After King Solomon had considered all of things that people used to motivate and define their lives, he reached this solitary conclusion: knowing and serving God can give every life purpose and direction. The endless quest to have more money, power, and things never results in true contentment. The Apostle Paul arrived at a similar conclusion, and offered this simple advice to Timothy that most would be wise to take: “So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” (I Timothy 6:8, NLT).