Maintaining My Purpose

This past week I had the privilege of attending the North American Christian Convention in Kansas City. I stayed at the Marriot. It was a beautiful hotel with plenty of action. As we arrived, the lobby was bustling with the buzz of people interacting. But as we checked in we were told that we would be staying in another building. It was an old hotel that the Marriot had purchased to accommodate additional guests.

I enjoyed my stay in this old hotel. It was a grand old hotel with at least three bars and a very nice dining room; none of which were in operation during my stay there. I found a nice out-of-the-way place to sit every morning where I could go over my sermon. It was a little nook with two high-back chairs surrounded by books in glass enclosed book cases.  As I reflected on this hotel, I could see that it had been a grand hotel with plenty of activity. It served its guests very well for many years, but now it was nearly empty. The owners probably had to sell for lack of business. Unfortunately I have seen many grand old buildings like this sit empty while trying to be sold. They sit empty so long that they deteriorate to the point that the only thing left is to tear them down. Fortunately this building was given a second purpose. She had plenty of life left in her and she serves very well as an overflow for the Marriot.

 

I can see how that hotel serves as a metaphor for life. Many of us serve our purpose very well for many years, but as we come to the end of our life, we stop doing what we were intended to do. We feel empty and useless. We don’t see any more purpose in life so we retire and decay. But if we listen closely we can hear that God isn’t finished with us yet. He has a secondary purpose for our lives. We still have plenty of useful years left. Consider Abraham. He was very old when God called him, and he was 100 when his son Isaac was born. Can you imagine having a baby at 100? And Moses was 80 when God called him to lead the children of Israel out of bondage.

 

One of the speakers at the NACC said that the Bible doesn’t speak of retirement. God has a purpose for our lives until the day we die. Our purpose may change as we age, but we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to find that purpose.  We could rest on our past achievements and simply fade away, or we could keep working for the Lord until the day He calls us home. The Apostle Paul had accomplished more than any of us ever will, but he didn’t quit. Instead, he says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13) Paul wrote this toward the end of his life while he was in a Roman prison. Paul understood that he still had purpose – until his very last breath.