Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Matthew 28:19 (ESV)

I want us to think a bit this morning about a subject which each one of us has wrestled with, been confused and wondered about, even to the point that we’d probably rather not think about it. Especially, as the horrific events in Paris of a few days ago point to a world seemingly more violent, in despair and where evil is all too present.

The scriptures we read shed some light on finding what our purpose might be in this life, no matter what is happening around us, or maybe even more, because of that.

What is our purpose anyway? Why do I exist? Why am I here? What is the bottom-line measurement that determines the success of our lives?

Do me a favor, and respond on these statements for a moment—

You were created to fulfill a unique destiny. A specific purpose in this world. Your contribution on this earth—and in your life—is not meant to be left to chance. Life is not governed by something as vague and impersonal as fate. You are equipped, prepared and directed by Almighty God for a specific purpose and to do significant things.

Do you believe those? No really, do you really believe that?

Great—then what in the world should you do? What is your purpose, or purposes, with the life, gifts, abilities, passions, positions of influence, and opportunities you have been given?

I remember years ago being absorbed with my elder granddaughter, Hannah, in watching a rerun of the children’s television series called Mr. Rogers. It must have been on PBS, and unfortunately I haven’t seen any re-runs of the Mr. Rogers’ shows being aired since. Our son, her daddy, watched the shows with us when he was her age.

“He’s nice,” Hannah chirped softly, interrupting my recollection of those times from years earlier, as Fred Rogers tied up his colored Keds, zipped on his out-of-date sweater, and gently sang one of his trademark songs:

It’s you I like, not what you wear, or how you look, but you down deep inside.”

There was something about him that was believable. Kids of all ages, myself included, felt better when he spoke or sang to them. I believed him, our son, Nathan, and Hannah believed him, and through the years many others have believed him.

Even that one little girl, now a grown woman, who caught Mr. Rogers to thank him, while he was in New York City. He was in New York to be recognized with a “Life-Time Achievement Award,” about a year before he died. The woman told Mr. Rogers that as a little girl, not much older than our precious little Hannah at the time, she had been terribly abused. You can only imagine the very worst of what she was subjected to—and you would be right. But each day she had a safe room in her house where she could go to watch Mr. Rogers on his TV show and listen to him tell her, just her she thought, that he liked her, and that she was pretty and special just the way she was.

His reassuring words carried her through the daily torment she endured day-after-day, until she became older and was able to break free and run away. And even though she was terribly scarred by all she went through, she survived, largely through his words of encouragement and hope through that TV screen through the years.

As he recounted the story shared with him by that woman accepting the “Life-Time Achievement Award,” Mr. Rogers said “that he felt as though the air waves that had existed between him and that little girl through those years had been ‘holy ground.’” That they had been a place of affirmation, love, and security for her. And they had been.

It’s you I like, not what you wear, or how you look, but you down deep inside.”

He said it over and over. And in that, Mr. Rogers found his purpose, his mission in life. The bottom-line measurement of his life through the years had affirmed, loved and lifted countless little boys and girls of all ages and helped to change their lives for the better. He found his reason to exist, his purpose, and he followed that purpose, that mission in life, until he took his last breath. It clearly was a purpose and mission which had been God ordained and sustained.

It became his “holy ground.” It was a purpose for which Fred Rogers was gifted by God to fulfill, and at that time in the world it was needed to help little girls and boys and even adults—whether abused like that little girl, or just needing encouragement and a lift up in life—to feel better about themselves.

What is our purpose in life? Yours and mine? As a husband or bride, as a parent or grandparent, or friend. What is it? As a coach or an executive in sports—is it just winning games or something else, something bigger for you to do?

What is the bottom-line measurement of success for where you are? For business? Is it all about dollars, selling more hamburgers, Cokes, or cars, or winning more championships, or all-sports trophies? Or is there, or should there be, something more? A bigger vision for all we do. A bigger, life-and-world-changing purpose for you and your organization. How will you be remembered by others when you are gone?

Will you really have made a difference? An eternal difference?

What is the bottom-line measurement of the impact of our lives, and for the organizations we lead or are involved in? What is the bottom-line measurement for the use of the resources we have been blessed with, or teams that we lead?

Let me suggest that we look for the “holy ground” of our true purpose wherever we can make a difference. Let me suggest that the bottom line of our lives, the bottom-line of our purpose—should be measured in terms of the lives we change for the better—and if we do that, all the other “bottom line things”—money, wins, success will take care of themselves.

And in the process we will be adding value to the lives around us and beyond—a lasting difference today and in the future—and often on lives we may never meet until we receive our “Life-Time Achievement Award” standing before God in eternity.

And you will be living on “holy ground” as you have the impact and live out the legacy which God intended you to leave day-by-day.

In His Name—Scott


Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.