I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died with no purpose.

Galatians 2:21


Lots of people struggle with the question of “what is my purpose?” College students try to figure out what they want to study. Middle-aged people wonder if they are fulfilling a purpose. And older people wonder if their life had any purpose. All of us wrestle with this question at some point or other. I know I do.


I have no doubt that one purpose I’m on this earth for is to be a priest. But what if I got in an accident and couldn’t be a priest anymore? There has to be more to life than this.


I have no doubt that one purpose I’m on this earth for is to be a husband. But what if my wife were to pass away? I have no doubt that one purpose I’m on this earth for is to be a father. But what if something happened to my son?


I know that my purpose on this earth is NOT to amass lots of money and security, yet I spend a great deal of time and effort on both.


What is our purpose? To love God, to love others, and to journey towards salvation. That’s it! God put us here out of love. He created each of us out of love—He wants us to share in His love, now and for eternity. He loves us and wants us to love Him. He has sacrificed for us, and He wants us to sacrifice/serve others. Through the Resurrection of Christ, He has opened the doors to Paradise for us and He wants us to enter through them. This is our purpose.


If there is no salvation, there really is no purpose. Because everything but our salvation is temporary. If life is all about our career, when happens when we retire. If life is all about family, when happens if family members pass away. This doesn’t mean that family and career aren’t important, they just aren’t THE most important thing. If life is all about collecting possessions, what happens when we die? We can’t take any of those things with us. I saw a “meme” recently where a father and son were standing in front of the garage at the father’s home, looking at a stack of stuff so tall and wide that it filled the entire garage. The father says to his son “look son, at what you are going to inherit.” A big cleaning job is what the son is going to inherit.


What would happen if you lost everything you had—your family, your job, your health, even your freedom? Everything that is important to you—gone! Would you have anything left? I would have (at least I think I would have, and I hope I’m never in the position to find out) faith and hope, faith in God, and hope for His kingdom. Because ultimately that is our purpose, that is His purpose for us being here.


I wrote previously on the subject of “breathe” and I realize (because of many emails I’ve received among other things) that many of us are struggling to breathe and that is probably because we are struggling with our purpose. The advice for today is to remember your purpose, as you are breathing. God wants us to have joy, God wants us to be successful in our endeavors, whether that is with our families or with our careers. However, what God wants most for us is to inherit His kingdom, something that will only happen when all the other “stuff” is gone, and we are about to pass away from this life. Saint Paul, in II Corinthians 6:10, described Christians “as having nothing and yet possession everything.” If a person has faith, they have everything, even if materially they have nothing. The opposite is true as well. One can have “everything, yet possess nothing.” If a person has no faith, even if they have “everything,” when they die, they will die with nothing.


My purpose then, in everything, is to glorify God and serve others in everything that I do. So, if you are working in a restaurant today and are making a sandwich for a customer, glorify God in the making of that sandwich. In whatever role you find yourself today, seek to glorify God—with your words, with your actions, even with your thoughts. Because this is ultimately our purpose, and that purpose transcends any role we have in our life, and any material possession we acquire. We can glorify God, even in grief, even when it’s hard to breathe. Because we can ask God to come into the grief and help us carry it, and we can ask God to come into the breathing and ask Him to breathe with us, even to breathe Himself in us.


In an age where people constantly are saying “YOLO” (You only live once), as if our purpose is to take risks because “you only live once”, the Christian response is “WLFG”—We live for God. Indeed, we live to glorify God, and we don’t do that with reckless behavior, but with a sober heart and Godly spirit.


Lord, thank You for another day of life. Help me in this day to understand that my purpose transcends any role that I play in life, because my purpose is to glorify You. Help me to remember You in the many tasks I will do today. Help me to glorify You in those tasks. Help me to remember Your mercy and salvation especially in the moments when I lose things and people who are important to me. Help me to remember that my purpose is salvation. Remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom. Amen.


Honor your purpose in whatever you are doing today!


Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced multiple books, you can view here: https://amzn.to/3nVPY5M


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