Articles by Stan Dean

Have You Found Your Purpose?

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The following story has been passed down a couple of different ways, but I think this is somewhere close to the way it actually happened. Back in the 1800’s when Ulysses S. Grant was president of the United States, a man from Scotland wanted to demonstrate a new game that he thought would catch on in America. It had already gained a lot of popularity overseas and he felt it would suit Americans too. The game was called, “Golf.”


President Grant gave him an audience for demonstration. The Scotsman carefully placed a golf ball on a tee and positioned himself for a swing with his club. However, when he swung, his club hit the ground taking a huge divot which sprayed dirt all around (including the president’s beard), but the ball was never touched. Quite embarrassed, the Scotsman again addressed the ball and took a mighty swing- - only to remove another patch of earth and leaving the ball on the tee.


Grant waited patiently through six swings before breaking his silence. He then calmly stated, “There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.”
Perhaps a lot of people could have this said about their lives. They take a lot of swings and expend a lot of energy, but they never seem to zero in on what they are looking for or trying to achieve.
Most of us have raised the question (at least to ourselves), “What is my purpose in life?” If you have and have not come to a satisfactory answer, let me make a suggestion. Try approaching this question from God’s perspective- - after all, He is our Creator (Genesis 1:26, 27). So, for what purpose did He create us? Isaiah 34:7 reveals it was “for His glory.” Thus, that is what we should be “swinging” to hit.


There is an Old Testament book that is pretty well devoted to this subject. Ecclesiastes tells us of Solomon’s quest to find the ultimate purpose for life from a personal perspective, although ultimately for all mankind. He “swung” at various avenues of human desires only to come up empty. At the end of the book he writes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).


Further, like the poor Scotsman learned, it takes focus and dedication to fulfill the purpose of hitting a golf ball. It is no less true to find and fulfill our purpose in life (cf. Philippians 3:4-8). Otherwise, you only make divots!


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