“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” ~ Esther 4:14
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent time reflecting on what it means to live with purpose. How do you go about your day – the mundane, the required, the average – and yet live with the zeal that God intended? A life infused with faith results in living that does not just mark days off of the calendar. It breeds an earthly life that has eternal significance, but there is a catch – the one living may never know what that significance is during their lifetime.
The trigger for my ruminations was an article about the life of Winston Churchill. It was a well written, balanced look at his life – no hero worship, but giving the appropriate amount of admiration due. Yet out of the half a dozen or so pages, one tiny paragraph stood out to me. It stated that much of Churchill’s legacy hinges upon six speeches he made in 1940.
Six speeches. Less than a day’s work for a man who spent so much of his life in political office. The journalist pointed out that this was a result of Churchill being a “Hamlet in reverse” – Churchill knew what needed to be said and was ready to say it when the time came.
And, in spite of his long career, when asked what point in his life he would relive if he could, Churchill always had the same answer: 1940.
To say this jolted me a bit was an understatement. I look back over the events of my summer and truly don’t know if I would ever ask to revisit 2010. However, there will be moments of great joy from this year – a wonderful finish to my six years of teaching and the birth of my son in a few weeks. In all, there are many reasons for me to wish to return to points in this year, regardless of the dark moments that I have faced. And what I remember of those dark moments is something many people long for their entire spiritual lives – the close, ever-present companionship of a loving Father who talks me through every difficult step of the way.
Which led me to my wonderings about my purpose through all of this. I firmly believe that God does not waste heartache. I also believe that He does not cause the hurt, but steps back and allows things into our lives that may not be anything like we planned. That has certainly been the case for me. But I cannot and will not believe that God would allow something as tragic as widowhood into my life without having a plan which I am supposed to go forward and walk in. Yet I may never be able to identify the moment that I have achieved my purpose here on earth. It may be something as incredible as being a mother to Liam or as simple as sitting down to write an email to someone who needs encouragement. I may not ever get to know during my existence on this earth. Nick would have been overwhelmed to see the number of people that he impacted during his time here. His life reminds me that it is more than possible to be extraordinary in the ordinary things of this world. In order to do that, I must always remember to walk forward in faith and trust that God will work all things for good – HIS good, His ETERNAL good – for those who love Him. I don’t want to miss my opportunity to change the world, for as the verse in Esther says, it could pass to someone else. So I – and all my fellow believers – must live each day with the mindset that perhaps today is that day that God has called you to something extraordinary. Be ready!