By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
A perceptive teacher noticed one day that a little girl was having trouble with her math assignment. She knew that the girl was shy and wouldn’t ask for help. The teacher went to the child and offered her assistance.
After she had helped the child work through the math problem, the little girl thanked the teacher. The teacher replied, “That’s one of the reasons I am here.” The little girl thought about that for a moment and then asked, “What’s the other reason?”
What is the reason you are here? God doesn’t make mistakes and put people in the wrong place. He creates people and gives them a plan and a purpose.
I live in a state that loves sports. Players and teams work hard and train for the purpose of performing well in a game. Champions are not made in the middle of a game but in the middle of practice for the game. Big victories are always the result of a series of small decisions made in practice sessions. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said it’s not the will to win that’s important – it’s the will to prepare to win! Winners prepare because they know why they are there.
A couple of years ago, University of Oklahoma’s coaches gave a blank iPad to all its players. They handed out digital playbooks the first of August. Each player was to take the iPad and write out what that player thought would be his purpose on the team. I like the response of Michael Honnicutt, who was Oklahoma’s Senior kicker. He said his purpose is to “kick the ball through the uprights.”
One of my favorite people in history is George Washington Carver. About 50 years ago, I bought a mantle for our house from an old store in Tuskegee where George Washington Carver went every day. He and a group of men would drink coffee sitting around the fireplace. I wish that mantle could talk! I keep a couple of peanuts on it.
George Washington Carver had many career opportunities. When he finished his doctorate at Iowa State, he chose to go to Tuskegee Institute. The salary was small, but he knew his purpose in life came from an invitation from Booker T. Washington to work and make a difference. He knew why he was going to Tuskegee.
George Washington Carver wrote, “No individual has the right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinctive legitimate reasons for having passed through it. I pray my work at Tuskegee became my reason for living.” He made a difference, not only in Tuskegee, but the world, and he always knew it was God’s purpose for his life.
I have heard about a beautiful highway outside of Bryson City, North Carolina. People refer to it as the “road to nowhere.” It was intended to be a highway between Bryson City and Townsend, Tennessee, but environmental concerns stopped the project. People who travel the road talk about the beautiful scenery, how smooth the highway is, but it is simply going nowhere. It comes to a 58 Million dollar dead end at an uncompleted tunnel through a mountain. God created everyone with a life designed to go somewhere – fulfilling the purpose He has for us.
At age 12, Jesus knew His purpose. When His parents found Him in the Temple teaching the Pharisees, He said, “Don’t you know that I must be about my father’s business” (Luke 2:49). On the last night that He lived, Jesus prayed in the garden, “Father, please let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not what I want but what You want” (Mat. 26:39). Jesus knew why He had come, and His Father’s purpose for His life was His focus.
What is your reason for being here?
What is your PQ – Purpose Quotient?
John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.1
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