Day 30: Purpose
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
Belly buttons were the subject of our dinner conversation, so I asked, “How are babies attached to their mommies?” One of my sons, eager to express his newfound knowledge, shouted out . . .
“With an extension cord!” Now I suppose the umbilical can be a kind of extension cord, yet consider that our belly button now serves no productive purpose except. It simply reminds us that we were at one time completely dependent on the nourishment of another. I reminded my boys that, spiritually speaking, we are completely dependent on the sustaining power of the Almighty God: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17; see Heb. 1:3a). So dads, whether you are contemplating your wrinkly navel or the stars in the sky or the beauties of nature, realize that all of creation declares the glory of God (Ps. 19:1). Worship the Lord for making it and worship him for sustaining it, for you have been created to glorify him.
Life is a journey, so put feet to your theology. Let doctrine impact the way you walk, live, and practice your faith. What you believe about God transforms the way you live your life. If you plan to travel from one city to another, you must take the proper highway. So also, if you are destined to spend eternity with Jesus, you will worship him with your life on earth. Your destination determines the path you take and your joy in the journey. For this reason, Solomon uses traveling imagery: “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble” (Prov. 4:11-12). If you want to be godly, then walk in God’s Word. If you desire to be righteous, then study God’s character. If you would make good decisions, then learn from God’s wisdom. Study the map before heading out and at every fork along the way. Establish the step-by-step rhythm of spiritual disciplines “and if you run, you will not stumble.” You won’t grow weary (Isa. 5:27; 40:30-31) and will not fall (Ps. 27:2; Jer. 50:32).
Dads, life is a series of forks in the road where decisions must be made, so pay attention! Don’t miss the turn! There are only two ways to go. To the right is Wisdom Lane (Prov. 4:10-13), a narrow, but well-worn path which climbs a difficult hill. And to the left is Folly Freeway (vv. 14-17), an eight-lane expressway plunging downward with no apparent obstacles or traffic lights to slow you down. Which way do you plan to go? Success requires having the right goal and the means to achieve it: “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law” (29:18).
Dads, what goals have you established for your family? Our Sugimura family mission statement consists of five major principles to define our purpose for the journey.
We often discuss each principle as we live life together as a family. For example, before hosting a party in our home we might brainstorm about blessing our community. Before serving together, we might discuss how to fulfill our gifting and edify the church. Perhaps our most needed reminder is to cherish our family, but our foundational principle is to worship the Lord. Dads, I challenge you to take time this week developing your own family’s mission statement.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, We desire to be a family who serves together with an eternal purpose. Teach us to worship you with our lives, to cherish our family in every situation, and to fulfill our gifting as we edify the church. Help us to be a testimony of grace as we bless our community and lead them to a knowledge of you. In your Son’s name, Amen.
LifeWork: Write down one way you will apply today’s Proverb.
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