Tuesday, March 5, 2013

love.this.movie. -- on purpose

Currently, I am sitting in the Detroit Airport at my gate, awaiting my flight to Philadelphia, where I will board a plan to Los Angeles! I have never been to California and I look forward to it very much. I love to travel and I love flying. Flying is such a spiritual experience for me, especially since I've only been flying for the past couple of years. I'm still wow'ed by the idea that I was once on the ground and now I am in the sky, that I am doing something that people in the past wouldn't believe... it's a cool thought. Flying excites me.

As I sit here, awaiting my adventure, I am contemplating purpose. Yesterday, to kick off the lazy part of my spring break, I watched the movie Machine Gun Preacher. I've been wanting to see this movie for a couple reasons - (1) Gerard Butler is a very sexy man, and (2) the story is based on a real person and his experiences.

Not to give too much away about the movie (which was ok, nothing spectacular), but the main character, Sam Childers (who is a real individual) is a man who has been incarcerated and leads a life of crime, drugs, and recklessness. He married a stripper and had a daughter. When he is released, he comes home to find that his wife has "found Jesus" and is no longer stripping because "it ain't right." This angers Sam and he continues with his destructive lifestyle.

After certain events, Sam gets to a rock-bottom point in his life where he gives in to his wife and mother's want for him to come to church. He has a change of heart and gets baptized, starting a new life for himself. He starts a company, makes good money, and buys his family a house.

One day at church, an individual from a mission in Africa comes and speaks of their work. This impresses Sam and he eventually goes to Africa. He sees thing there that move him and at one point, when he is home, he has a vision to build a church across the street and build an orphanage in Africa.

To this day, he dedicates his life to rescuing children of war in South Sudan. Look him up. If you don't want to watch the movie, you can look him up. He's a very interesting individual.

As mentioned, the movie wasn't great, but the story led me to great contemplation about purpose.  This man, who was living a destructive lifestyle, turned his life around and adopted the purpose to save provide for majorly disadvantaged children in Africa. What a purpose! It's movies like this one that make me feel so small and lazy. But it gets me thinking about why I am here and what my purpose in life is. For some people, like Sam Childers, it's going abroad and helping those who are in need. For others, it is working at the Humane Society, or teaching in urban schools, or simply just being a mother.

I don't necessarily think that everyone's purpose has to be as large and profound as Sam Childers', but I do believe that EVERYONE has a purpose and it is our responsibility to figure out what it is. Everyone plays a part in this world, no matter how large or small, but you should know what it is.

I realize that I really do not know what my purpose is in life. I know what some of my responsibilities are, such as teaching Sunday School, and being a good friend, and being charitable, etc. But what is my PURPOSE?

Do you know what your purpose in life is? How did you come to realize it? What are you doing today to advance your purpose?

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