Today’s Challenges: The meaning of life

It seems that the older you get, the more you think about the meaning of life and what is really important. Of course you don’t have to be very old to start thinking about those things. I remember as a young man wondering about when I would figure things out, when would I really know what I wanted to do or be. I still wonder about that from time to time. I don’t think we should ever stop stretching or growing, reaching for new challenges in our lives.

I’ve led an amazing life, sometimes people have trouble believing me when I tell them about all of the things God has allowed me to do in my life. Raised in the country, apprentice to my father a general contractor who taught me every aspect of the building trades. Spending some time involved with Uncle Sam and his Navy. Moving from there to an assembly line in a Chrysler factory. Then making a complete change by moving to Texas and going to school to being a preacher. Working in mission points in the U.S. and 6 years in missions in Kenya East Africa. Seeing things and doing things that many will only see on Television.

We have lived and worked in seven different states and have friends all over the world (literally). I have work experience and degrees that would allow me to continue in my ministry. But after 44 years in the full time ministry we moved back to Ohio and now I work at Lowe’s. My co-workers recently asked me why I would do that, why I would choose to give that up to work in Lowe’s.

I’ve thought about that question and, of course, it is a matter of choice. We are back here because we feel we can serve God better here right now. Are we right, did we make the right choice to “make tents” as Paul did to support his avocation? I don’t know. My wife and I are trying to keep an open mind and watch for signs from God. We try our best to let Him lead us and open or close doors in our path. It all, ultimately boils down to the question, “What do you love most” or “How can you be of the best service to God at any given time as you perceive needs”? We think that right now we can be of service to the kingdom here in Ohio, doing what we are doing, making tents.

I read that Theologian Tim Keller says: “If you love anything more than God, even though you believe in God, if there is anything in your life that is more important to your own identity or significance than God, then that is a false god and it is a power in your life.” (reference unknown)

I really don’t know what God plans us in the future, but we will continue to look for open doors. Maybe he has something in mind for us that we have no idea, but then life is full of surprises isn’t it.

It may be that God has some plans for you, but he can’t use you until you until you put certain things out of your life or determine what is really and truly important to you. You see God doesn’t compete for your attention, it has to be your choice. But be warned, when the door does open for you and God does speak to your heart, it usually costs you something. It takes a change on the inside and the outside, our old self has to die and we have to be born as a new person putting God first. Paul wrote in Romans 6:3, “all we who were baptized in to Christ Jesus were baptized in to his death.” Verse 4 says we then begin “to walk in a new life.” Are you ready to do that?

By Russ Lawson

Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is the Director of World Christian Literature Outreach and can be reached at [email protected] Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.