It’s the “Why” and “How” that Matter


Do you ever stop and ask yourself why you do what you do?

I haven’t always asked myself that question as often as I should. When I did, sometimes I didn’t like the answer.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the flow of a typical day. So many things in life simply must be done as part of living.

Get out of bed. Get everyone fed. Get each one launched to school or work or whatever.

There’s housework and homework and work that comes home from work because there wasn’t enough time to finish it.

But the events of the day and the demands on my time are not why I’m on this earth.

I need to pause, take a deep breath, and ask, “Why am I here?”

I can phrase that as a more fundamental question, “What is the will of God for my life?”

In the long run, I know His will is for me to be with Him through eternity. But in the short term, I’ve often had questions.

In the prayer that Jesus gave his disciples when they asked how they should pray, he taught that we should pray for the Father’s will to be done. I take that to mean that I need to be asking God what His will is for my life and then doing my best to do it.

At the moment, I know God has called me to write stories about people who love him and follow him so faithfully that nothing and no one on earth is more important. I started writing fiction just before I retired, prompted by that still, small voice that I was supposed to write a novel about how one man was saved through the love of a Christian who showed him that following Jesus was worth any sacrifice, inspiring him to seek God himself. That led to other plots with variations on that theme. As long as those stories keep coming, I’ll know that writing is at least part of God’s will for me.

But there are different seasons in our lives, and what He is calling me to do right now is very different from five years ago. Five years into the future, I have no idea what He’ll want me to be doing. It might be something totally different.

But there’s more to God’s will for me than what I’m supposed to do. I think why and how I do it are more important to Him than what I do.

Why do I want to do it? Jesus’s own words say it best in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (NIV)

I love Paul’s description of how in 1 Thessalonians 5:22. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Joy, prayer, and thanksgiving― there’s no better way to live my life.

I’ll keep praying that what I do tracks with God’s will for me and giving thanks for the opportunity to do it.

Has God shown you something special that He wants you to do?

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