LEVEL 7: ENDURANCE
here is a seesaw in life at all levels. Nothing is straight, nothing is guaranteed. The comfort you can have with purpose though is that purpose has an intention to it way outside of your grasp. Purpose too has a permanence with it that it cannot be altered. This means that you cannot pick up another purpose and leave yours unattended. It just doesn't work that way. But even if we have had all things about purpose figured out, there is no guarantee that life will run smoothly from then on. The greatest lie you will hear in Christianity is this, "Come to Jesus and all your problems will disappear."
Is there Guarantee?
I remember when I was taken to College. I was taking a relatively new course called "Management Information Systems". The likes of my dad had never heard of something like that...and I too was green. Do you know the first question he asked the administration of that prestigious college? "Are there jobs with this course when he is through?" Of course the College Administration had to answer in the affirmative in order not to lose the sale. What was dad looking for? He was looking for assurances. I am guessing that is the same thing that multiplied millions across the globe will be asking a purpose coach of m ilk, "So tell me Sir, does this thing pay?"
Is there a guarantee that your purpose:
- Will give you fulfillment?
- Will provide for you like a job would or is?
- Will be easy to figure out?
- Will not have the unknowns, the uncomfortable
The Universal Principle
Life is structured in such a way that we have to grow, get tough, get experienced, get wiser and know better. This means that life will give us very many disappointments, detours, failures and interesting feedback. The same way it is a lie that if you come to Jesus all your problems will disappear it also is a lie that once you have figured out your purpose, all will go well. I will be the last person to give you that kind of guarantee. I need to be realistic with you. Pursuing your purpose will cost you blood, sweat and tears. You can take that to the bank. That is why you need the universal principle of endurance. It starts very early when you are learning to walk. And that is the good news. You already started your life with a pinch of endurance, never giving up until you were able to walk, and talk, and go to the toilet all by yourself!
Our Biggest Undoing
Our greatest weakness in this generation is that we are not sticky. We hop from one gig to another in the search of a million dollar idea. The idea that is worth pursuing is your purpose. The problem with your purpose is that it might not give you instant millions or even guarantee you survival in Maslow's basic hierarchy of needs when you are starting out. And that is the major problem we have. That is why my dad wanted to have some guarantees about a job with the course that I was taking. But isn't it interesting? Come to think of it: When I finished that course (I actually never went to the apex of it for lack of finances), there were no readily available jobs!! In other words, the same thing that we fear will happen to us when we pursue purpose is that very same thing that happens when we don't! So why not just toughen up and throw our hats in the ring and go in for purpose?
The Principle Of Growth
God is extremely wise. He has a way of linking up growth to endurance.That is why He began it all with just one man on earth. Today, we are billions at any one point. Mankind has endured the flood, the plagues, war, earthquakes, droughts and very many epidemics. And yet there is nothing new today that was not potentially available from the start of it all. This is what I mean: The wheel, tarmac, industry and commerce were potential discoveries right from the first man. Nothing is different with me than it was with the first man. We all have the same potential. However, the principle of growth states that time has to be factored in. Sadly today, our generation wants instant growth. We want instant wealth, instant marriages (and instant divorces), instant food and instant gratification of any desires we have. That does not guarantee growth in any way.
Endurance is Key
Level 7 of purpose is the most interesting level. You have to notice that this level is inherent in just about all the levels of purpose pursuit. You have to endure the early states of Inquest and Stewardship and Convergence and Ownership. Once you have started adding value to your purpose in Level 6, you need to note that Level 7 comes in seamlessly. And that is where people normally give up. People say that I have pursued this purpose thing for two years, or two months, and I do not see anything coming out of it. I heard Bible teacher Joyce Meyer narrate a very interesting story some time back. She said that while holding a teaching conference one day, one lady menacingly approached her waving some of Joyce's teaching DVDs. She was demanding her money back that the teaching was not working. Joyce asked her: "How long have you been applying these teachings?" The lady said: "Two weeks!!" She wants results without endurance.
You will not get results with your purpose pursuit unless you choose to endure. And when I am talking about endurance, I am talking about the ability to dig in, stay put, stay consistent, stay committed with it not just for a few months, but for years on end. I estimate that it will take you a minimum of five to seven years for the fruits of your purpose pursuit to start kicking in and your impact to be felt. There is need for you to endure whenever live throws you a curve-ball and asks you to quit. Stay with it. One more day.