Finding Purpose: Focus More on the Eternal and Not the Temporal

By James

I have never made a New Year's Resolution—mostly because if I am resolute about something then I will do it regardless or a Jan. 1 start date.

This year is different, I want to be resolute, resolved even, to be focused more on the eternal and not the temporal (the here and now). We tend to live in the moment with little focus on the truly important things. Think how it might change the nature of what we are doing if we looked at things through eternal lenses. We are overly concerned with our jobs, our finances, our homes, or even our to-do lists. But in doing so we often lose sight of what matters most.

I love to hear people's last words—the final moment of transition to the eternal and what the utterances are as they move into the life beyond the one here. It always saddens me to think that Michael Jackson's last words were a plea for 'more milk' pleading for more of the drug he was addicted to for sleeping; or to think of Prince and his final words from the stage "Wait a few days before you waste your prayers on me"; or Princess Diana at the crash scene "My God, what happened?"—the sadness of these words for these great people is a reminder that no matter who you are, what you do, how rich or famous you are, the moment is coming when we too will move to our eternal lives.

These three things will keep us focused on the eternal and balanced in the moment.

First, know whom you serve. We serve God, not man. Many moments in our lives are pathways with forks—choose the one that serves God. Yes this path will cost you at times, but we are living for eternal purposes. This path is always worth taking.

Second, know why you are here and what God called has you to do. Knowing your purpose in life, knowing your call and the Caller, will keep you focused on Him and the eternal purposes you are called to.

Thirdly, always choose His ways. My favorite verse is in Ecclesiastes 12:13 ("Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man"). If we are living for the eternal we will fear, holy reverence, God and His ways—we will seek to follow Him and keep His commandments. If we do this we will never be misguided.

Ultimately we do not need to be so eternally focused that we cannot live here or enjoy the moments we have—just be present in the moment and mindful of the eternal. This is indeed only a temporary home—one day we will truly be home, the eternal. What a day that will be.

 
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