What are you going through right now? What is your struggle? Where is your uncertainty?
Are you going through it with purpose? I’m not asking if you’ve discovered the purpose in it, but are you moving through this uncertainty or this struggle WITH purpose? We don’t typically understand the purpose in the hardship while we’re still in the middle of it, that perspective typically comes on the other side when we look back and say “ahhhhhh, God I see what you were doing there.”
But for those of us still in the middle, still unsure of exactly what God is doing in this mess, still without clear vision of his great plan, are we waking up with purpose? Are we moving with purpose? Are we living each day, yes today, with purpose, while in the middle of the unknown?
I occasionally watch “Running Wild” with Bear Grylls. With a name like Bear, he’s just living up to his potential intentionally placing himself in the most extreme situations and showing us how to survive. His legendary line is “Awwwww, this is a bad situation here!”
How many times in our own lives could we say something similar? Awwwww, this is a bad situation here. We may not be hanging on the side of a mountain with a hungry mountain lion at the top, or the deep abyss at the bottom, but we sure find ourselves in some sticky situations where the next move is unclear, don’t we?
We can have all the faith in the world that says there’s ultimately a greater purpose in all of this, but what about right now? What direction do we take in this moment where that greater purpose is unclear?
MOVE WITH DEFINED PURPOSE NOW.
Bear Grylls, the ultimate burly adventure man who intentionally places himself in the most dangerous of situations, took Drew Brees, the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, out for an adventure. Now if you think the adventures I offer at one of our Adventure Retreats will take your breath away … girl, no! Our whitewater rafting, zip-lining and mountain climbing is entry level! Bear took Drew Brees on an adventure that started with jumping out of a helicopter into a crocodile infested river in the jungle. We’ve done some crazy things at retreats, but I’ve yet to get you in a river with crocodiles, at least I don’t think there were crocodiles in that river … maybe there were.
So Bear is instructing Drew on jumping out of the helicopter into the crocodile infested river in the jungle below (don’t get confused … this isn’t a bible story, this is a television show, there is no scripture reference yet) and Bear says “swim with purpose and you’ll be fine.”
SWIM WITH PURPOSE AND YOU’LL BE FINE.
It was so powerful I literally grabbed my journal and wrote it down. Swim with purpose.
I don’t know what your crocodile infested river may be, but I know with real life comes real threats. Real problems. Real worries, not just made up fictitious worries, but the real ones.
Just within the circle of women I mentor, there’s a woman standing by the hospital bed of her 40 year old husband who just had a heart attack and she feels helpless.
There’s a woman whose son hasn’t spoken to her in 3 years and she doesn’t know how to fix it.
There’s a woman whose husband continues to be unfaithful and her heart is broken.
There’s a woman who is struggling so hard with depression, the darkness nearly consumes her on some days.
How do you swim those waters? How do you survive those crocodiles?
SWIM WITH PURPOSE.
You can swim with purpose, without knowing the overall purpose. You can take the next step in your climb without seeing the full staircase. You can do the next right thing while the ultimate big picture right thing is still unknown.
MOVE WITH DEFINED PURPOSE RIGHT NOW.
Define your purpose right now.
What is your purpose in showing up for work today? You may not know if this is ultimately where you are supposed to work forever, but you don’t have to. Just move with defined purpose today. Your purpose could be to show up with the best of you and be faithful with what you have right now. GREAT. DO THAT.
What is your purpose in health today? You don’t get 100% control in that diagnosis. You don’t know what the Doctor may say. But you don’t have to sit around waiting, you can move with purpose and eat with purpose today. The purpose of HEALTH. The purpose of taking the best care of this one body you have been given to carry your soul through all your days on Earth.
This is DEFINED PURPOSE RIGHT NOW.
I will be the best darn wife I can be today. I don’t know what the future holds for us. I don’t even know where we will be living in 3 more months, but I know I can swim with purpose today. Within the next 5 minutes I can literally do something with this defined purpose. This gives me direction.
What we can’t do is jump out of that helicopter into crocodile infested waters and panic. We can’t flail around sucking in water. That does us absolutely NO GOOD. You’re attracting the very thing on the hunt for you!
Never forget, you do have a real enemy in this world and he is on the prowl. He is looking for the opportunity to attack. Panic helps nothing!
Nor can you just sit in crocodile infested waters and not make a move. The longer you sit, the more danger you’re in.
Paul says in Philippians 3: 13-14 “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on!!!”
You may wish you could go back to the way it used to be, but honey, it can’t. You have to let go of that. You can’t crawl back in the helicopter. The helicopter is gone now. It’s time to strain forward to what lies ahead. It’s time to press on. This means swim with purpose.
You may not know what exactly to do today with this messed up situation you find yourself in, but pulling the covers back over your head and laying there in the mess won’t solve a thing.
You’ve heard the story of the two wolves, right? It’s an old Cherokee fable of a grandson asking his grandfather about the struggle within. The grandfather says, inside of each of us are 2 wolves fighting. One is good and one is bad. The grandson says, “grandfather, which wolf win?” THE ONE YOU FEED.
I’ve found that bad wolf talks loud when I’m wallowing in my problems. When I’m stuck in inaction too afraid to take the next step, wallowing in the overwhelm of what to do next, that’s when the bad wolf becomes loud. You know when he gets quiet … when I get up and start doing what I can with what I have.
Getting up in faith and moving with defined purpose is food for the good wolf within.
Want to know how to shut the bad wolf up? You starve him. Don’t give him your attention. Don’t listen to his nonsense. Don’t wallow in your pitty. Don’t flail around in panic. Swim with purpose.
This is your pressing on. God, help us to see the purpose we have before us today while we don’t see the overall purpose in it all. Strengthen us to be faithful with the swim right now, moving in an intentional direction with our best effort. Convict us of where we’ve been dangerously floating and help us to start swimming again.