Each Friday for the next eight weeks we’re exploring a different theme from our upcoming book, American Awakening, by our founder John Kingston. This week, let’s reflect on purpose, and what it means in God’s eyes.
Here’s a great quote from the book:
“From my life and experience and study of hundreds of books, essays, articles, speeches,
and experiments from the last three thousand years, the greatest thinkers and traditions are in
agreement. They all point to finding yourself and your purpose through living as you were
uniquely designed, in a way that is good and true and virtuous. They each point to purpose being
grounded, ultimately, in believing in something greater than yourself. Unfortunately, this is not
how we understand happiness in our modern age.”
This last line really speaks a poignant truth that we need to let sink deep: happiness is not what our culture has made it out to be. It is not feeling good, eating well, being comfortable and looking good on social media. It is possible to have all of those things and still be miserable in our souls. That’s because we’re created to live out of our unique gifts, talents and experiences in a way that loves and serves others, not ourselves.
It is, in the way of Jesus, as we give ourselves away and “die” to ourselves that we most fully live. This is joy. Not happiness, joy. They are very different. Joy is the state of being we experience when we have peace, love and purpose – and we know it. Joy can be found even when circumstances are very difficult. Sometimes especially when they are difficult.
So today, don’t seek the cheap thrill of happiness. Pursue the deep joy of purpose.
Grace and Peace,
“For the last 30 years, my public role as a Christian Pastor has been shaped by substantial political involvement across race, class, and political parties! As a result, American Awakening rings so powerfully true and is a must-read for all. The soul of America is more threatened now than at any time in modern history. Not only does this book offers a clarion call at the perfect pitch for a nation in trouble, but it lays out a clear roadmap. The book reminds us that America’s beginning and ending rest with “we the people.” If we are to emerge from this challenging era as a better America, it will require each of us to become a better “me” and a better “we!”
— Rev. Hurmon Hamilton, Senior & Founding Pastor, New Beginnings Community Church