Purpose driven by hope
The end of the matter is this, all has been heard; fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
These were the words that gripped me. See I had grown up in a Christian home, come through the same Christian school and been to church all my young life so far. But it came to a point in high school where it all felt so empty. I couldn't see the point of it all.
What is the difference between dying now and dying in 80 years time? What does my life mean?
It was about thent that a friend of mine came forward and presented me with this book. A book 12 chapters long and ending with those words: ... fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
I realised there had to be something to this God thing. I look across all variety of different religions. But what grabbed me the most was this person Jesus. He acknowledged my brokenness and my complete inability to be a good person. He promised life despite by brokenness and said that He stood as perfect in my place. He gave me hope!
But I did nothing with this hope. I went on the next several years saying, "yeah, I'm a Christian, it all makes sense to me." But I never did anything with this. I had no idea what a relationship with God looked like.
It wasn't until my second year of university where someone laid out the following challenge: We can know all the facts about Jesus, but He asks of us to follow Him. We either do or we don't.
I knew what I wasn't doing, and I knew what I wanted. I can't say that I prayed a prayer that day to surrender my life to Christ, but I have prayed many prayers since. Every day, surrendering my life to Him and watching Him change me.
He changed me from a selfish and arrogant jerk, to ... well hopefully, to a less selfish and arrogant jerk. But I am still learning to look more and more like Jesus.
But more than this, He has given me purpose and direction. He showed me that everyone needs an opportunity to respond to Him. He gave me an opportunity to be a part of that and join with Him in His Kingdom and inviting others to be a part of it too.