Most of my life, I have thought about “calling” and what I have been created to do during most of my corporate career. In fact, I have dedicated many years of my life to helping people get from where they are to where God created them to be – in other words, getting them from here to there. And in this instant gratification world, it is important to take stock of yourself from time to time and make sure that you are, in fact, living out your calling.
But as I enter the next season of my life, that part of my life after the day to day grind of the corporate world, I have made sure that I meet with people who know me and can speak truth into my life about things I should consider about the future. Today, I met with a pastor who has led our church for many years now and I was interested to hear him discuss the chapter in our lives after “calling” – he called it “destiny.”
The big idea is that it isn’t necessarily important what we are going to do – but it is vitally important to address who we are going to interact with as we age. Because, in the ultimate analysis, all that remains, besides God, are people. And while many of us tried to put points on the scoreboard and played for a “win” earlier in our careers, it is now apparent to us that it is more important to devote our time to significance rather than success.
That’s where I find myself spending my times these days – how can I be significant in the lives of others? What is my destiny, my legacy, the things that I can leave behind to make the world a better place and to draw people to God. Because when it is all said and done, business statistics aren’t going to be all that important.
And I want to get this stuff right. We are only given a limited amount of time and since God doesn’t waste anything, it is important to take our gifts and leverage them, in addition to our experiences, for the greatest possible impact on the world. Admittedly, I didn’t spend much time thinking about all this earlier in my career. After all, for many members of my generation, it was all about making the money, supporting the family and enjoying the fruits of our labors. Yet we all want to finish well and significance, or destiny, is now one of the boxes that we all want to check. In fact, aside from our decisions to follow Christ and to care for our families, destiny is right up there at the top of our wish lists.
Interestingly, most of the verses in the Scriptures on the subject of destiny are negative and reserved for those who don’t follow Christ. And most of the references to destiny are in the book of Ecclesiastes, the book written by King David’s son, Solomon, supposedly the wisest man who ever lived. But our verse for this evening comes from another source – the apostle Paul, the author of the letter to the church at Philippi.
We are told, in Philippians 3:16-4:1, “Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”
In other words, destiny doesn’t have to be negative – in fact, the most important destiny we can have is to become more Christlike. And that is my encouragement this evening – that Christ wants our destiny to be in Him, not the things of this world. My prayer is that you will take a few minutes and reflect on your destiny – your legacy – the things that will live on beyond your own mortality. Because that’s the thing we leave behind as we live eternally with God and His Son. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…