When I meet with people to do some purpose coaching, I often ask them, "What can you do that you lose track of time and perhaps even miss a meal?" They think and can generally come up with some scenario - being in church, going to a sporting event, reading a book - and that gives me something to pursue. I started asking that question because of the story in John's gospel about Jesus and the woman at the well. You may want to read the story here before or after you read below.
In John's account, Jesus and the disciples were tired and hungry from travel, so the disciples went into town to buy lunch while Jesus rested at Jacob's well in Samaria, not a usual stopping point for Jews (since they did not like to mix with Samaritans). While Jesus was resting, a woman came by to draw water. This was not a usual time to draw, for it was already in the heat of the day. Perhaps Jesus was suspicious as to why this woman was coming so late, so He engaged her in magnificent conversation.
During the conversation, the woman tried to religiously debate Jesus, but He pressed into her personal life and ultimately revealed Himself to her as the Messiah she had been alluding to in her comments. At that point, she ran off to tell her neighbors that she had met a man (I doubt if anyone was surprised at that, for she had 'met' many men in her lifetime), just as the disciples returned with food. They were shocked to find that Jesus was no longer hungry!
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work" (John 4:31-34).
Jesus was no longer hungry because He was exhilarated from His encounter with that woman. He had fulfilled His purpose for coming, which is "to seek and save the lost" (see Luke 19:10) and that fulfillment had satisfied His hunger. If Jesus had purpose food, so do you. What can you do that you can miss a meal? Is it painting a canvas or even a room? Counsel a friend? Travel on a plane? The answers to that question are important clues in your PurposeQuest. Even pursuing that answer can cause you to miss a meal, and that in itself is significant.
This whole scenario makes me think of Deuteronomy 8:3, which Jesus Himself quoted to the devil in Matthew 4: "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
This week, spend some time asking and answering that question about a missed meal and I am confident you will have not only food for thought but ultimately food for purpose. Have a great week!
PSALMS CLASS: I begin teaching my class on Psalms here in Pittsburgh on Monday, May 14 and it runs for 11 weeks. You can audit this class or take it for college credit. Write me for more information if you are interested.
NEW BOOK: I am self-publishing a revision of my book So Many Leaders, So Little Leadership. It is due for release in mid-July. If you can make a tax-deductible contribution toward the cost of that important project, it would be of great help to me. You can do so on my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. For any donation, you will receive an autographed copy when the book is released.
KENYA BOOKS: The books were released and picked up in Kenya, so I am waiting for a report from Pastor Peter with pictures, hopefully to share with you next week.
KENYA RETURN: It looks like I will be back in Kenya the last two weeks in August. It's not too early to start planning and saving to attend one of my seminars. The schedule for that trip will be announced soon.
ATTENTION, AFRICA: I got the following email from a friend asking about an internship for his daughter in Africa this summer. His daughter speaks French and is a third-year college student. Anyone interested? Let me know.