I was guilted into going to the last assembly at Charlotte’s school. The month of May has been a doozy and I really wanted to squeeze the last few hours of kid-free time before we welcome summer, but those big brown eyes got to me. It was the usual…the Star Spangled Banner, the 5th grade good bye video, the Math Club awards, the Cha Cha Slide to get the wiggles out, PTA recognition, and then the character trait for the month.
The principal described the character trait for May. It was “purpose.” They defined it as someone who is oriented toward a future goal and can explain the reason for their goal. Though Charlotte’s not the type of kid that typically gets recognized at an awards assembly, I had settled in my heart that I saw this trait in her and that was enough. Whether she is working on an art project, making lesson plans to teach her brothers (on her own accord) or dreaming about getting a volleyball scholarship for college and practicing for hours in the driveway, she is a driven.
The principal asked those who received the “purpose” award from their teacher to stand. Charlotte stood. She was quietly proud and I was beaming. And thinking. The spiritual metaphor was obvious in my mind. One fruit of my conversion was that God redeemed my purpose for living. I was saved from a life of rebellion to one of purpose, a life compelled “to proclaim the excellencies of him who called me out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Pursuing adoption is part of this proclamation for our family. But, as I sat in this spiritual metaphor longer I realized I committed a familiar error. I looked to myself first, rather than to God. After all, it is He who is excellent!
What could be more important than a God who gives purpose to men? A God who is purposeful. He spoke creation into existence. His words hold both purpose and power. He decided He would make a way out of the shambles of Genesis 3. It was God who called Abram and set apart a people unto Himself. He purposed Christ to live and die and be resurrected so that we could too be raised. It is God who continues to work and promises that “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Yes, it is a gift to be saved into the purposes of God, but it's far greater to fix your eyes on the One who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11).
Thank you God that you are purposeful. I look to you and my fears subside. I praise you that though I have many plans in my heart, your plan will prevail. Your purposes will not be thwarted. Help me to behold you and continue to orient my life around you. Help our children to behold you and orient their lives around you. You are the prize and the goal. Thank you for using a simple award given to a second grader to remind me how great Thou art.