It was a good night recently to collect a few night crawlers. The ground was wet from the rain. I got a flashlight and started walking the yard.
I noticed that two crawlers nosed each other in the wet grass. The happenstance contact caused an immediate recoiling into their respective holes. Crawlers like being above ground on damp cool nights, but they are very skittish about it.
I stood still. After waiting several moments in the ground, both emerged partially while keeping a snug tail-end hold in their hole. Apparently, they recognized each other, for they got into a wormy conversation with each other. It went something like this:
“Hi, Slim.” “How you doing, Stretch?”
Said Slim, “I heard that nice rain going on up here, and I just had to come out on top for a while. That dirt I have been pushing through is packed hard. Which reminds me—-have you ever asked yourself what our purpose in life has to be? I mean, look at us. You and I are night crawlers. I get tired of working up ground every day and night, not knowing if there is something else special I am supposed to be doing.”
Stretch responded, “Are you really concerned what our purpose in life is? Well, come to think about it, I am not actually sure what our purpose is. The only thing I know is that you do not want to think in primary terms of being fish bait. You get impaled on a fish hook, and, then, to make matters worse, you get thrown into the water to dangle around for a fish to gulp you down. I once heard about such from a couple of crawlers who got caught but eventually got returned to the yard from where they were snatched. They told me what happened to the others that were not so lucky.”
…I think we need to put this crawler conversation on hold for a moment and give the question consideration from the perspective of the Christian life, for, what is actually the Christian’s purpose in life?
A variety of answers seem to satisfy many associated with the Church. For some, our main purpose involves a focus on having a lucrative vocation and going on luxurious vacations. Some believe it has to do with accumulating items or building savings accounts. Others tend to think that the main purpose emphasizes raising families and regaling friends. The summary of it all considers living life to the fullest within the short parameter of time we have.
Either of these considerations may find justification by anyone. But none of these are sufficient about what a Christian’s main purpose in life involves.
The bottom line purpose for the people of the Church is this: in this life, we should live to bring God honor and glory. It involves nothing less than that. Very few live it. Most do not.
Apostle Paul clarified it when he wrote, “What ever you do, do all for the glory of God.” Furthermore, “Unto Him be glory in the Church.” We are supposed to be “filled with the fruits of righteousness unto the glory and praise of God.”
I the Church correctly understands and embraces this spiritual ideal, then the life we live has an extreme value placed on it that super-cedes any other value in life we may want to have. This being altogether true, we are confronted with the question: how shall we bring God honor and glory?
The Biblical principles of it loom directly before us. It involves specifically living the tenets of changed life in Jesus Christ. We should live out in obedient fashion the basics of the Gospel verified by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is fundamentally central to what is the Gospel due to its proving the regenerative work of God.
If we do not live out the expectations of changed life in Christ that brings God honor and glory, then we just become a type of fish bait dangling on the hooks of worldly affairs.
“How do you keep from being caught for fish bait?” Slim asked.
“Do not look long at the light. As a matter of fact, you see the light coming up behind you…?”
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.