Someone once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
Do you know where you’re going today? Do you know where you’re going in life? Or are you just meandering along in a maze of meaninglessness?
Some of the most basic questions that Christian apologetics seeks to address are the questions of purpose: Why am I here? What really matters? Does my life count?
Do you have the big picture when it comes to your time of life on Planet Earth? Do you get up in the morning with that big picture in mind? Do you know why you’re going to go through the routine of another day? Can you explain how retirement will help to serve your ultimate purposes in life? How do you deal with life’s detours and delays?
There may be no greater ramifications to your being clear — or not clear — about your overriding purposes in life than when it comes to adversity and suffering. When your world suddenly falls apart you’re going to want to be clear about the big picture in life, or you may quickly capsize as powerful waves of loneliness, pain, fear, and desperation roll over you. Let me cite just one example of how this works.
John Piper has written a short booklet entitled Don’t Waste Your Cancer in which he lists ten ways that even Christians can forfeit powerful opportunities in the midst of the vortex of dealing with this terrible condition. The number five (#5) way that he lists is this: “You will waste your cancer if you think that ‘beating’ cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.” Piper says that “Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ.” He quotes both Philippians 3:8 — “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” — and Philippians 1:21 — “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Over a century earlier Charles Spurgeon said something similar: “If [God’s] glory will come of it, shall I not even crave the honor of being the agent of his glory, even though it be by lying passive and enduring in anguish.”
Why are you here? What will make your life matter most? Get the big picture. Make your destination the glory of God. Then chart your path accordingly.