By Eric Potter, MD
Pilgrims with a PurposeAs pilgrims in this life, we embark upon an adventure filled with great stories. Stories of breathlessness, stories of laughter, and stories of woe fill our memories and await our tomorrows. However, all noble journeys, regardless of their rabbit trails and pit stops, must be destined for a singular end. Human life is no exception. The “end” for mankind determines more than eternity. It also concerns present spiritual wellness. As we alternate between the peaks and valleys of the journey, today’s wellness depends on Who is our end, our own health or our heavenly Father.
Upon the peaks of life, the gripping wind may enchant us with imaginations of inner strength. We may rejoice in virtually soaring above the world and forget ourselves. Look at me! Look at what I accomplished! We forget that our glory is not the purpose for which we were placed upon the earth. We forget that the glory of Another is our true calling.
Within the depths of life, the valleys of despair, the stagnancy of the thick darkness may seem to choke us. We may agonize over why we were born or why we were “fated” to such a state. Woe is me! I am undone. Likewise, we forget that our success and victory were never meant to be the end at which we aimed. We forget that the glory of Another is our calling. This Other does not need our success.
One would hope that we might fare better when neither the heights of success intoxicate us nor the depths of suffering overwhelm us. However, in the midst of everyday life, we strive but often away from the noble purpose of Another. As we consider our state, we see the reflection of an aging mortal and ask ourselves how we might improve what we perceive. We ask how to lower our cholesterol so that we might live a few more years. We ask how we might raise our hormone levels to invigorate our persona. We ask how we might lessen the pain so we might remain independent just a little longer.
Though we are not wrong in seeking life, vitality, and relief, may we not forget the higher goal without which all else becomes possibly selfish. The higher goal, the noble goal, the true goal is to live for God’s glory.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (Colossians 3:23)
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
(I Corinthians 10:31)
This is not only the end to which our journey should aim, but the constant focus of our daily walk along the path whether on the peaks, in the valleys, or somewhere in between. May our years be filled with this purpose. May our vitality be harnessed for this purpose. May both our suffering and our healing be turned to such a worthy goal – the glory of God.
Keeping this goal of God’s glory constantly in mind, our spirits can be well whether our bodies strive through life or limp along till the end. Either way, we will look back and give thanks for the blessings of our pilgrimage.