Live On Purpose

by Texas Stready

The other day, while standing in line at Publix, I was chatting with a lady about losing the fog light on my car. (Darn it! Still can’t figure what happened.) How we got on this subject is beyond me. The conversation was an accident of sorts, and losing the fog light was definitely not on purpose.

Life’s full of accidents. Things that don’t happen on purpose. I’m not just talking about situations that happen to us, I mean the huge disasters that occur when we don’t take time to look for God’s purpose in our circumstances.

Look Both Ways

The gentleman behind us overheard our conversation and informed me that he worked at a salvage yard. “I have hundreds of cars and I’m sure I’ll be able to find you something, if you’ll come see me.” Then he handed me his business card.

As I pushed the grocery cart towards my car I was slapped in the heart when I re-noticed the gaping whole in my front bumper. Yuck! Not a good look for any car. Then I thought to myself, “Thank goodness for that chance encounter. Maybe dude can help me.”

Around The Corner

Most of us overanalyze—especially when it comes to cause-and-effect. If you’re anything like me you could easily spend the next hour analyzing why your so analytical. This problem stems from being caught up in the effort rather then the effect.

Why things are happening around us is far more important than how they happen. No one’s reasoning is the same and this means our actions and reactions are understandably different. That’s why it’s so important that we stop thinking we know everything. I mean, it doesn’t require a professional life-coach to teach you to never dive head-first into such a shallow perspective.

Take A Chance

A few days later I headed down to the salvage yard to see what could be done about my car’s missing eye. I was blindly certain that losing that light served no purpose. As my new-found friend and I sat looking at the computer screen waiting for the parts man to return, we began to talk.

His niece just moved into his house because she has nowhere to live. She’s a meth-head who’s burned all her bridges. I could tell by many of his responses he has no idea what he’s getting into. But I do. So I told him where I attend church and gave him my business card.

By the time Sunday rolled in on me, I’d forgotten all about him. Until I noticed this waving motion from the corner of my eye. There he sat, a few rows back to the left of me. What do you know! The missing fog light was no freak accident.

Let It Happen

Admitting we have no idea what God’s up to, places us in the perfect position to witness the miraculous. We can’t just hang out expecting purpose to plop into our laps because discovering what I’m here for is a lifelong process. One that requires interruptions in the neatness of life.

As much as we act like we are, we’re not self-sufficient. We did not create ourselves and therefore cannot unveil our purpose without consulting our Creator.

Now Is The Time

Although we’ll never fully comprehend our existence, embracing where and how we find ourselves brings a sense of security and satisfaction that can’t be touched.

Taste, touch, see, and hear your life. It’s the only one you get, so notice everything. Even when it doesn’t add up or look ideal—right there in the midst of the mess—you have what it takes to live on purpose. Come on. I know you can do it. One extremely exciting, under-analyzed, step at a time.

Does it Matter What It Looks Like?

by Texas Stready

Last week while walking through the mall I heard a teenager say to her mom, “This outfit just looks like me.” When I glanced her way she was wearing a huge smile that went quite nicely with her high-waisted, bell-bottom jeans.

No doubt we live in a society that cares about appearance. We determine all kinds of things by the style of someone’s clothes, hair, or car. Tattoos, piercings, or the color of their skin as well. But trust me when I tell you, this can be a damaging practice.

I Think I Can

It sure seems as if it would be a relief to all of us to say, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like.” But it does. And in many instances it should. I mean no one wants their husband picking up prostitutes and driving them to their desired destinations.

Thinking we can do or say whatever we want is sure to leave us in a pickle. Our behavior speaks volumes, even when we wish it didn’t. As parents, neighbors, and friends, we are—like it or not—people of influence.

Then Again

Decision-making can get hectic when it comes to the outsider. I mean few people want their 14 year old wearing shorts that show too much cheek. But the “Does this matter?” question takes a sharp turn when it comes to people outside our sphere of influence. I mean what if your daughter brings home a friend who’s dressed that way. Should that matter?

As followers of Christ, it can’t. This shifts the question from, what it looks like to what’s my role in this. There’s a reason this girl is in my home. You catching my drift?

The longer we live the more we find ourselves in situations we have no control over. This truth is another reason our constant communication with Christ is necessary.

It is vital that we learn to love completely, without being harsh, and judgmental. That’s what Jesus looked like, and as Christians we are called to be reflections of Him. Think about it— Jesus didn’t say to the woman at the well, “Get up, pull yourself together and stop acting like a ho.” Often, even though we may never say this, our behavior screams it.

What’s The Matter?

Wisdom is a critical variable that must be used appropriately if we hope to be successful in any walk of life. If we aim to be beneficial parents, neighbors, and friends, open and honest communication must be on the top of our have-to list. Hopefully your hubby already gets why the prostitute deal is not a good idea, but in many instances discussing subjects in depth brings clarity and promotes alternative thinking.

Who we are matters far more than what we look like, but the richest parts of our character are always reflected in our appearance. Not just what I wear but what my body language speaks and what My words reflect. We do not need to fit some stereotypical criteria but we do need to fit the Jesus mold.

Do It Right

The thing to remember is this: God has placed me in authority over certain people. But while I must take that responsibility seriously, I can’t change or fix anyone else. The only person I can do that with is me. That’s a good thing because the fastest and easiest way for other people to learn is by example.

The privilege of speaking into someone else’s life is something we must earn. And the best path to accomplishing that goal is found by loving that person right where they are.

So does it matter what it looks like? Yes, but what matters most is that my response is one that’s appropriately dressed in love.

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