It might seem unnecessary, especially for our Daily Lenten Journey, but what’s your purpose in life? Without realizing it, maybe, your purpose isn’t what you think it is even if you’re reading this blog. I hear it all the time. Parents think their purpose is to prepare their children to be adults. Teenagers think their purpose is to get into (the right) college. Parish Councils think their purpose is the balance the Church budget. They’re all wrong.
The only purpose that matters is to have a Godly purpose. This week theme has been to focus our attention on the passions, fallen as they are, and repurpose them into Godly passions. Today I’m going ‘all in’ with the very purpose of our life. It is the only purpose that matters, and the only purpose that keeps all our other passions in line with God’s purpose for us.
Our ONLY purpose is to be with God in heaven. That’s right! God doesn’t care if we are doctors, lawyers, stay at home parents, or if we take out the trash. The only purpose that God has for us is that we spend eternity united to Him in heaven, and it is only when our purpose matches His purpose that either purpose will be fulfilled. Let me explain.
If your purpose as a parent is to prepare you children to be adults, then you will miss the crucial time preparing them to love being with God in Church. You will miss the chance to teach them how to repent when they sin. You won’t miss these chances because you necessarily think they aren’t important. Chances are, you think they are important, just not as important ‘right now’ as making sure your high school senior has the grades, extracurriculars, and reference letters to get into the right college. If they don’t get into the right college, they won’t get the right job, and you will have failed them…..or so you think. What really fails them, and you, will be that you didn’t inspire them to love being with God. There were too many Sunday tournaments your family had to attend so your teenager could get that scholarship. In the meantime, your teenager hasn’t received Holy Communion in months! Great; they got into college, but their spiritual dead inside.
Christ said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood you have no life in you.” (John 6.53) Without Holy Communion, your teenager might be the best college on the best career track with the best house in the neighborhood, but your teenager will be dead inside. Using more current imagery, your teenager will be a zombie, walking around but dead.
The problem isn’t limited to parenting purpose. If our purpose is anything other than being with God in heaven, our future is gloomy and lost. Many people think they don’t need to be in Church in order to be a good Christian, so long as they believe in God, but if you really believe in God, you will adopt His purpose for your life. You will come to desire to be WITH God, not just think ABOUT God. His purpose is COMMUNION, and that requires our physical presence in Church for Divine Liturgy. It requires that we spend every moment with that purpose, whether at work, school, home or out with friends. Until our purpose is a Godly purpose, no amount of fasting, serving, taking up our cross, or going public (our Daily Lenten Journey themes this year) will make a bit of difference. We will be lost.