Last summer I read John Eldredge's book Walking with God for the first time. This spring, our daughter is reading it as part of our home-school endeavor, and I've been drawn back into it. Once again, even just reading the first few pages packs quite a punch! I highly recommend reading the entire thing, but for now, I want to share with you John's thought on our approach to life - our purpose and how we'll never succeed if we don't find it.
The following is taken directly from the first pages of the introduction. I really can't think of anything that I'd add to this!
From Walking with God, by John Eldredge:
It is our deepest need, as human beings, to learn to live intimately with God. It is what we were made for....what (Adam & Eve) enjoyed above all the other delights of (paradise) was this -they walked with God. They talked with him, and he with them. For this you and I were made. And this we must recover.
I've spent too many years trying to figure out life on my own. Reading books, attending classes, always keeping an eye out for folks who seemed to be getting the hang of things. I'd notice that the neighbors' kids seemed to be doing well, and I'd think to myself, What do they do that I'm not doing? Their kids are in sports. Maybe I should get mine in sports. I'd walk away from a conversation with someone who seemed to be on top of the world and afterward I'd think, She seems so well-read. I'm not reading enough. I should read more ...We do this all the time, all of us, this monitoring and assessing and observing and adjusting, trying to find the keys to make life work.
We end up with quite a list. but the only lasting fruit it seems to bear is that it ties us up in knots. Am I supposed to be reading now, or exercising, or monitoring my fat intake, or creating a teachable moment with my son?
The good news is you can't figure out life like that. You can't possibly master enough principles and disciplines to ensure that your life works out. You weren't meant to, and God won't let you.
For he knows that if we succeed without him, we will be infinitely further from him. We will come to believe terrible things about the universe - things like I can make it on my own and If only I try harder I can succeed.
That whole approach to life -trying to figure it out, beat the odds, get on top of your game -it is utterly godless. Meaning entirely without God. He is nowhere in those consideration. That sort of scrambling smacks more of the infamous folks who raised the tower of Babel than it does of those who walked with God in the garden in the cool of the day.
In the end, I'd much rather have God.
...Whatever our situation in life -butcher, baker, candlestick maker -our deepest and most pressing need is to learn to walk with God. To hear his voice. To follow him intimately. It is the most essential turn of events that could ever take place in the life of any human being, for it brings us back to the source of life. Everything else we long for can then flow forth from this union.
...an intimate, conversational walk with God is available and is meant to be normal. ...if you don't find that kind of relationship with God, your spiritual life will be stunted.
We can't find life without God, and we can't find God if we don't know how to walk intimately with him.
Again, that is from the introduction to Walking with God, by John Eldredge. Visit his website or pick up the book on Amazon -- it is well worth it.