Thursday, July 2, 2015

Butterflies and Purpose

Butterflies

This morning, I zoomed in on this elegant butterfly delicately perched on a blossom of a butterfly bush in my garden.  I was sitting there knowing I needed and wanted to spend time with God, while also feeling the "call" of the many tasks I felt I needed to accomplish today.  The sight of a butterfly always challenges and reminds me that taking time out of a busy schedule to spend with God is the most important part of our day.

It's the short poem by Rabindranath Tagore that always reminds me of that truth:  "The butterfly counts not months but moments and has time enough."  There's a profound message in that short statement as well as in that short life.  The average lifespan for an adult butterfly is 20 to 40 days -- that's slightly over 4,000 minutes to perform its entire life purpose -- yet, it is "time enough."

God has a life purpose for each of us and even before we were born, He allotted the time for each of us to accomplish that purpose.  Psalm 139:16 tells us, "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."  So -- God's Word is basically telling us that we have time enough to complete the purpose He created you and me for.  I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is - what is the purpose for which God created me?  Do most of my days head down the path of accomplishing God's purposes, or do I tend to digress and spend much or most of my time working on my own purposes?

So - how do we find our purpose?  The Westminster catechism tells us that the chief purpose of man is to glorify God - and that is what our entire world and its surrounding universe was created to do -- to glorify God.  With that in mind, how should we go about our days?  Moses asked God to "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom," Psalm 90:12.  Moses also knew how much He needed God's leading and presence and wisdom to help him handle the huge responsibilities he had leading the children of Israel.  He said to God, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here," Exodus 33:15.  I love that!

In all the many activities and tasks that we do each day, we need to always seek to glorify God and to seek Him - to deepen our personal relationship with Him.  That is the key - an intimate, personal relationship with the God of the universe, our holy Father -- that is our primary purpose, because the closer we draw to Him and learn of Him, the more we will end up delighting in Him and glorifying Him and fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.  We must "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10, and "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you" Matthew 6:33 KJV.

We might say that Jesus lived a short life since his journey on earth lasted only 33 years, but according to God's purpose - He lived the perfect amount of time.  He finished the work He was brought on earth to do and He said, "I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do" John 17:4.  Ah, to be able to say those words when our time is up on this earth.

Like the butterfly, we are beautiful creations with a purpose.  Let's live that purpose for Him and we too will have time enough.  "...He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6.




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