Clarity of purpose. That’s what I sometimes lack.
When I find myself discouraged, depressed, disheartened, or merely disinterested, it’s usually because I’ve forgotten my purpose.
Lack of purpose is what drew me to the Lord in the first place. Before I knew Christ, my heart ached from the unanswered question, What’s the point?
The point, the purpose, of those who would follow Christ is to love and die like He did.
I’ve written before how I really struggle with the whole “love as death” thing. It’s only natural. But I don’t want to live naturally. I want to live supernaturally.
Watch Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, full of purpose:
“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” (9:51)
“Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.” (13:22)
“Now on his way to Jerusalem…” (17:11)
“Jesus took the twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.’” (18:31)
“…He went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem…” (19:11)
“After Jesus had said this he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.” (19:28)
What did “Jerusalem” mean to Jesus? Suffering. Heartbreak. Betrayal. Loneliness. Pain. Agony. Death.
If we follow Jesus on the path to Love, our route will inevitably take us through suffering, heartbreak, betrayal, loneliness, pain, and even death (perhaps not literally, but at least metaphorically.) There is no shortcut.
When I find myself on the difficult legs of the journey, I’m tempted to either 1) sit down right where I am and wallow or 2) look for a side path of escape.
But if I pay attention as I forge my way forward on the straight and narrow, I can clearly make out the footprints of the One who has walked before me.
And I am promised that, though my path will grow ever more treacherous, Love Himself will be waiting at my destination.
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” –Philippians 3:10