In the decades that I’ve been following Jesus, I’ve met numbers of people who have questioned how they’ve spent their time after wrestling with a personal crisis.
Sometimes a desire for real meaning is awakened, a new hunger for purpose.
Among the remarkable stories of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers was a woman who somehow survived the collapse all the way from the 50th floor. Although some people suffer from survivor guilt, she became immersed in gratitude and purpose for God. She told a reporter in Time magazine, “I was spared for a reason—I want to serve God with all that is in me—I want to make a difference.” I once met a man who had an emergency seven-hour quintuple bypass surgery. His family was told he had little chance for survival. Yet today he’s back at work and doing well with a longing to experience God in deeper ways. He told me he felt like he was given a second chance. During an unconscious moment in the hospital he heard a voice say, “Don’t worry. You’re going to be alright.” He found it amusing that on his first visit to our church, the very first message he heard was titled “The Gift of Second Chances.” The famous French philosopher, mathematician, and all-around genius Blaise Pascal had an accident that changed the course of his life when he was 31 years old. He was nearly killed when horses pulling his carriage bolted on a bridge and left him dangling over the river Seine. He had a vision of God while unconscious and later wrote it down on a paper that he kept in the lining of his coat for the rest of his life. Part of it read, “The year of grace 1654. Monday November 23rd...certainty, certainty...joy, peace... God of Jesus Christ... Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy... May I never be separated from him... Reconciliation sweet and complete.” He was forever changed and died only eight years later. And you have to love his logic when he later wrote, “It is not certain that everything is uncertain.” It’s fascinating that a tragedy turned each of these people toward a life of purpose and a deeper intimacy with God. But not all of us will have a major event like that. And so I can think of no greater challenge and no higher calling for leaders than helping others recognize that despite the normal and often mind-numbing routine of life, God has called us to a life of meaning...of purpose. By intentional words and actions, a leader steadily reminds others of a God who not only loves us, but designed us for significance. And as we all know, leadership is exponentially at its best when a leader develops other leaders who will do likewise. Dave Workman | Elemental Churches I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do... (Ephesians 1:17b-18a The Message)