Seeing the big picture.

Recently I received advertising from the Daytimers company that showed an inscription on one of their products that said, "It's all about you, Del Wells!" It’s all about me? Is it really? What’s the implied message? It’s that I am so important that I have this company’s undivided attention and they will take great care of me. Yes, I do know that this marketing tool is very common in our consumer-first society, trying to make me respond positively to their sales pitch. But does this statement have any truth to it as it relates to the way I see the world around me? And if it does, is there anything wrong with thinking about myself first as I make my plans? What is the grid that I use to help me make choices? Do I have an overall goal for my life and who does it benefit? These are great questions.

My last LT insight encouraged you to create a personal mission statement to guide your life decisions with the overall goal of finishing strong at the end of your days. Let's look now at some of the benefits of having an overall purpose for your life and how to develop one.

A few years ago my wife Arlene and I went into a Sears store close to where we lived and she asked me if I had read the store's mission statement. Displayed prominently on the wall at eye level as we rode the escalator to the second floor, the sign stated, "Our mission is to be the centre of shopping for Lambton County". To the people and employees in that store, the company openly declared in writing why they existed. So whether or not Sears ever did become the county's main shopping centre, it did give every employee the measure the business was using to make decisions as they reached for their goals.

So what's the mission for your life? Overall, why do you think you are alive today? What is your long-term game plan? Is it all about you or are you giving yourself to a cause that is infinitely greater than that? Be honest. Do your personal ambitions drive your life purpose or does your mission shape your ambitions?

Often someone's life mission is unwritten but still obvious because it is the thing that influences every choice they make. Maybe it's to feel good about yourself or to be really well liked by others. Perhaps it's finding a fulfilling job or becoming independently wealthy or gaining the power to control any situation. These are fairly common pursuits but in the end are they worth giving your entire life to?

The Bible is helpful because it lets you to see the big picture for your life. You learn that meaning and purpose come through knowing why you do what you do. Your first priority is to turn from being inward-focused to becoming outward-focused. It is summed up in these words: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31)

Talk about an all-encompassing purpose! "Whatever you do" includes everything. Every single part of your life is to count for God above all else. That is the perspective you are to use as you decide how to live well at home, work, school and play. Ask God and he will show you how every aspect of your life can be arranged to fit into this overall purpose. Why not take the time to get clear direction so that you can truly make your life count?

Here’s something you can pray right now to better see the big picture for your life:

"Dear Lord,
I acknowledge that you are the Creator and Sustainer of my life. I am reminded today and do affirm that you have a significant purpose for me, and that is to bring you glory. I thank you that I know you personally through faith in Jesus Christ. I pledge myself to keep growing in my knowledge of you by studying your word and praying continually. I ask your Holy Spirit to reveal to me and remind me of the destiny that you have marked out for me when I need to know it. I thank you that you have already given me everything I need to fulfill the purpose for my life. I commit to keeping my eyes on the big picture of what you are doing and how I can be a part. In everything that I say and do, may you be glorified. Amen"