Thursday, January 24, 2008

Living with Purpose

Last night we attended a couples gathering with all the daughter church congregations together under one roof. It was great! Gregg & Sono Harris (our church founders) spoke on "Mission vs. Maintenance". It was very encouraging and I wanted to write down some of my notes from the evening and share them with you.
What is God's purpose for my life?
THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT: "Love God..and love your neighbor"
THE GREAT COMMISSION: "Go and make disciples"
All of my life's goals/mission/purpose should hang from these commandments.

"But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more (in loving one another), and to make it your ambition to live a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." (1 Thess. 4:10-12)

I need to live a life full of good routines. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Our lifestyles are intended to be beautiful and to provide an alternative to the world's insanity. I should make it my ambition to lead a quiet life. This doesn't mean that my life will always be quiet, but that it is my ambition for it to be so.
Our family life should be full of mission and routine maintenance. As a homeschool mom I need to remember that training and discipling my children is part of the great commission. Don't think that God's work is out reaching the nations and not right in front of me.
If my life has no mission and no maintenance = Rust out
If my life is all maintenance and no mission = Hide out
If my life is all mission and no maintenance = Burn out
But if my life is Great mission & routine maintenance = Work out

I should work out so hard that I can hardly do it. Then back off and rest. It is a rhythm of exertion and rest, exertion and rest. There are times of intense mission that require intense rest to recover as well as seasons of life that are more "action packed" than others.
We were asked what quadrant we are living in. Everyone wants to say "work out" but is that really what's taking place in your own life and your family's life? We were exhorted to take our home's temperature. Are we speaking loving words to each other? Do we perform tasks and acts of service with patience and kindness? Or are we agitated, bickering, fault-finding, critical and harsh with one another? We cannot perform our mission if we first are not filled with God's love flowing from our personal time with Him. Nothing will work right if we are coming to our families and our world as empty vessels. We need to have something to offer and that requires "loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength."

The evening made me analyze what we are doing that fits our mission and what needs to go. It's important for us to remember that we are heading into a season of maintenance with a baby coming. We need to back off on a lot of the mission we've been pouring ourselves into in order not to burn out. It's important for us to not only purge our home of the unnecessary items that clutter our lives, but also the unnecessary activities that either do not line up with our life's purpose or with the season we are entering. We are entering into a time of hibernation of sorts when lots of rest and recuperation is taking place and not a lot of activity. But, watch out world, because when our time of maintenance is past we will be hitting the ground running with another Knifong to be a part of the team!

I hope this post has encouraged you to think through what your family is all about. What are you doing to accomplish your mission? What are you doing to stay refreshed and energized? Don't rust out, burn out or hide out...WORK OUT! Life will never be so fulfilling!


Missy said...

what a wonderful reminder! thank you for taking so much time writing such a thoughtful post.


Elise said...

I don't even know how I found you, Kristi, but I have been blessed in just the little I have read these weeks past!

Your words are simple and profound here, and I, too, am thankful you took the time to lay it all out. I'm particularly grateful for the reminder of hibernating times, and the importance of the tender watering and care of the olive shoots we've been gifted with- I won't forget your gentle reminders!

Thank you.