My husband, Joe, grew up playing several sports but went on to play baseball in college. He had offers to major Division I schools, and verbally committed to catch for the University of San Diego, which was ranked third in the nation at the time. Nearing the end of his sophomore baseball season at his junior college, Joe started getting sick. He started having trouble breathing, which negatively affected baseball. His batting average went down a bit (hitting was a strong suit of his), and there was nothing he knew to do to get better. Joe got so sick, he had moments he thought he was going to die. He wasn’t hospital-ridden, but his body felt like it was shutting down. Joe’s lungs were filling up with fluid but no hospital, doctor, or even the numerous specialists he saw could figure out why.
Joe hadn’t heard from the USD coach in a while, and he thought it was because he wasn’t putting up the numbers anymore. (He later found out it was because the coach was on long recruiting trips.) Long story short, Joe signed with Texas A&M University – Kingsville late in the signing season, out of fear of not having anyone else to sign with. The following day, the USD coach came to his game just to visit him, but left regretting not having been in contact with Joe sooner.
A lot of things got in the way of Joe becoming a professional baseball player. Random illnesses on days scouts came to watch him, a major concussion that tore through his top batting average, and the list goes on. At that point, Joe felt like he had nothing. His whole identity was shattered. But God. God entered the scene in a big way.
Joe reluctantly decided to go to church after not seeing his name come up on the computer for the MLB draft. That day, at church, He heard the story of Job. Joe heard how Job had everything, then lost everything, yet still had hope. The pastor ended the service with the question, “If you were to lose everything, would you still have confidence?”
Joe’s answer: no. Joe wanted what Job had. And that day, Joe left with a purpose. A purpose unlike any he had ever had. From that day forward, he wasn’t going to live for himself. He realized that the only way to live was to live with a purpose that could never fail, and the only way to do that was to live for the life-giver, Jesus. God revealed to Joe that he was created to live an eternal purpose and not a worldly purpose that could fade in an instant.
We are God’s workmanship, and he is preparing us for that which he has already prepared for us. God has set up good works in advance for us to walk in, but we can’t even wish to walk in them if we’re living for anyone other than him.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
— Ephesians 2:10
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
— Colossians 1:16
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
— Psalm 139:13-14
Sometimes we feel we haven’t found our purpose if we aren’t doing something spectacular in comparison to others. Just remember: living with purpose isn’t meant to make much of us, but to make much of him, the purpose giver. So the less your purpose is about you, the better. Let’s make much of him. Live with purpose!