Winterville United Methodist Church

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

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February 27, 2017 "Purpose"

So many times in life we struggle with purpose.  When we are in school and sick of a full day’s work but come home to still more assignments, we might say, “I fail to see the purpose of homework!”  As we move into jobs and find ourselves doing mountains of paperwork we often say, “I fail to see the purpose of so many reports!”  But we know that there are deeper issues of purpose with which we wrestle.  There are issues about the deeper meanings of life.

In The Purpose of Dogs,” Bailey wrestles with his purpose as he comes back to life many times, each time as a different breed.  But in the end, he concludes that there are three important purposes for any good dog while on earth. 

The first is:  Lick the ones you love!  It’s important for people, too, right?  Well, maybe not lick—but certainly hug, kiss, tell others that you love them!  We can find ourselves so busy or so caught up in other agenda items that we completely fail in doing those important things.  We can get so busy with tasks around the house that we forget to take appropriate time with children to hug them or to tuck them in at night or to share time with them that’s free from prompts to do their homework or to work harder for good grades.  We can get so worried about paying the bills or taking care of broken items around the house that all our time with a spouse is filled with stress-producing interactions.  Time to stop and lick—no hug/kiss—the ones we love!

The second is: Save someone if you can.  For Bailey the “saving” means pulling out of the water a person who is drowning.  You and I may have those opportunities for the literal kinds of saving in our lives.  Far more often, however, our saving may be listening to someone, ascertaining what the needs are, working to help with whatever that person’s need might be—in short, showing concern.  Showing concern goes further many times than we ever realize in completely changing the other person’s experience in life!

The third is: Be here now.  Bailey had the chance to be male and to be female, to be a Golden Retriever and to be a dachshund and to be various other breeds.  As people, our lives often feel far more dictated, more prescribed, for us than sometimes we would desire.  We can find ourselves always looking into someone else’s yard, so to speak, and declaring the grass greener on the other side of the fence.  But God’s desire for each of us is to find the good in our own lives, to see the opportunities spread before us, and to make the most out of the lives given to us—to be here now! 

Bailey discovered some important purposes for a dog’s life.  The lives of human beings might be far richer should they discover the same sense of purpose in their own lives!

 

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