Does Everyone Have a Purpose?
Can everyone really have a specific purpose? Pete Briscoe discusses knowing your individual purpose in life.
Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection
- What circumstances might drive someone to believe that they're "an accident suspended between two accidents"?
- To you, what does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made?
I grew up in England. My dad was in England his whole life, um, until he was about 40, and then we moved to the States, but... when he was a, a young man, he would do a lot of work in the coffee shops in Liverpool, um, pretty tough spots actually, and all the hippies would hang out there, and, and he tells a story about one day going into one of these coffee shops and it was all hippies— young 18, 19, 20-year-old kids— and one boy sat down at his table and looked at him and said, "What are you doing here?" and... my dad says he had flowers in his hair, and it had been so long since he'd washed his hair that my dad wondered if the flowers were actually growing there. Uh, he said, "well, I'm here to have conversations with you guys." The guy said, "Well, what do you want to talk about?" and my dad said, "Well... you know, life and why we're here and purpose." And, and the guy looked at my dad and he started to laugh and he goes, Purpose? and my dad just said, "So why do you think you're here? I mean, why are you on the planet? Why are you taking up space?" The guy looked at him and he said, "You know what? My parents told me I was an accident, and because of the way I live my life, I'm assuming that my life, uh, will end in an accident, too. That my death will be an accident, and so the way I can kinda see my purpose is I'm, I'm an accident suspended between two accidents." My dad took out his Bible. He had it with him. He had, like, the little pocket Bible with him. He went to Psalm 139, 'You created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.' That doesn't sound like an accident to me. It sounds like incredible purpose that every single day that you live, God ordains it. Yeah, my dad shared the gospel with him, walked the whole way through it and my dad said, "Does that make sense?" And he goes, "Well, the story makes sense, but something doesn't." And my dad said, "What?" and he said, I don't think you really believe that. And my dad said, "Why would you say that?" and he said, Because if you really did believe it, you would have been down here before now, and you wouldn't leave until all of us had agreed. And he stood up and walked out. It was a stunning moment for my dad. I know a lot of people struggle with this. A lot of people look at life, and it seems purposeless, meaningless. In fact, there's a book in the Bible called Ecclesiastes. Um, a really wealthy, rich guy who had everything, and his conclusion was, Man, every, every day under the sun is just kinda meaningless. You, you go after everything you want, you get it, and it's just kinda meaningless, and I know a lot of people feel that way. Um, but the rest of the Bible teaches us that it's anything but meaningless. There's tremendous purpose in life.