Most of us go about our daily lives following the routine dictated to us by our jobs or family responsibilities, and we rarely give much thought to the reason for it all. Life is full and leaves little time to ponder meaning.
So when’s the last time you stopped and considered transcendence? You know, the meaning of it all, the purpose for life, all that light and fluffy stuff.
Well, I’ve just finished a great book that had me swimming in such matters. And I loved every bit of it!
In A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger Than You, author Paul Tripp refers to this as living for the Big Kingdom, for God’s purposes and His glory. To do so, we each have to put aside living for the little kingdom, for our own purposes and our own glory.
Although there were many highlights, here’s one passage in particular that caught my attention:
But God has not promised to deliver all the things you have hoped, desired, and convinced yourself that you cannot live without. You have attached your happiness to a deeply romantic marriage, but God hasn’t promised to give you one. You have connected your identity to a long and successful career, but God has not promised to deliver it. You have glued your well-being to your physical or material health, but God hasn’t guaranteed you either one of them. You have placed your value in being a successful parent with trophy children, but God has not contracted to deliver your family dream. Of course, these things are wonderful to desire and worthwhile to experience, but they are out of your control, and your Redeemer has not guaranteed to give them to you.
When these things control your heart and command your hopes, you will tend to judge God’s faithfulness, not by whether he has been true to his promises, but by whether he has given you the things that you have set your heart on. But this is right where the redemptive quandary lies. If God gives you the things that are playing a role in your life that only he is supposed to play, wouldn’t he be encouraging in you the very addictions from which his grace is meant to free you?
—Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More: Living for
Something Bigger Than You, pages 201–202
If I am to live for God’s Big Kingdom, He must be the center of everything I do. So that’s the question: Am I living for God or living for self?