Lines of Purpose - Caleb Mays
The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack
Setting the scene: it’s Sydney in the early 80s. My mother having moved around Australia before then, and my Dad having moved from the UK as a teenager, they now meet in a local church. While perms and the Pentecostal two-step ran rampant through the church, they fell in love and got married.
It was also in this church that my parents met Ps Paul and Maree de Jong. Flash forward to 2008 and I find myself stepping off a plane as a fresh-faced 19-year-old, ready for a new life in New Zealand and a new job at LIFE. 10 years on, I am more convinced than ever that God’s plan for me began long before I was even born. He had orchestrated opportunities and connections for my parents that would then go on to shape my life.
The reality is that the decisions we make today will have a great impact not only on our future, but the future of those close to us and in wider circles. Far beyond a matter of monetary gifts—although they are definitely a part of it—it is the things you choose to surrender, the things you hold dear to, the people you choose to keep close and the way in which you live that will pave a way for the next generation.
While I might be single at the moment and a ‘next generation’ for me is now a way off, I can still make decisions today that will set me up for a life of purpose, and establish a firm foundation for those to come, whenever that might be. (Side note: even if I never end up having children of my own, that doesn’t negate my ability to speak into the next generation in other ways.)
We see the significance of this in Jesus’ lineage. Both the Gospels of Matthew and of Luke provide us a genealogy of Jesus, an occasionally motley crew of individuals who are united by one single cause: they were obedient to God and trusted Him to work through them. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely didn’t have perfect records, but that just speaks even clearer to the grace and compassion of our God.
As His years of ministry here on earth drew to a close, Jesus said this to His disciples:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
John 14:12 (NIV)
While Jesus was the fulfillment to many prophecies, hopes and dreams, His work had only just begun. The lineage of Jesus believed that greater was still to come, and now Jesus passes on the authority to see that come to past in our lives, as well as hoping and praying for it in the future.
A God-inspired legacy always has hope attached, always trusts and believes that there are greater days ahead for us, and greater still for those who are to come.
A personal favourite verse for me is found in Colossians in the Message paraphrase:
The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.”
Colossians 1:5 (MSG)
For me, I can see that line of purpose stretching far back through my life. It passes through my decision to move to New Zealand, through the moment I asked to be baptised at the age of 7, through my parents' decision to be planted in a local church and find a community with the people there, and further back still, right to the point of creation.
Even more incredibly, I know that this line stretches far into the future, intersecting with countless other lives, each an opportunity to extend a God-given legacy even further.
In this season, just as much as through all that is to come, I must actively decide how I use my time, gifts, talents, money and words. Now is the time to dig deep, to seek out God’s heart and take steps to living the life He has for you and the legacy He wants you to leave for the generations to come.
Creative & Kingdom Communications Project Manager