Summary: God gives us the answer to the question we all wrestle with: What is the purpose of life?
A. If there is one question that every person who has ever lived wrestles with is this: What is the purpose of life? What is my purpose for living?
1. One day a nursery school teacher was working with her students when a fire truck zoomed past.
2. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog with his head out the window.
3. Recognizing a teaching opportunity, the teacher asked the students what they thought might be the purpose of the dog.
4. One child suggested that the purpose of the dog was to keep the crowds back.
5. Another said that he’s just there for good luck.
6. Then a third child brought the argument to a close saying, “The purpose of the dog was to find the fire hydrant.”
7. On the one hand, one would hope they had a purpose than greater that, but on the other hand, finding the fire hydrant is a critical step in putting out the fire.
B. One of the best selling books of all time is Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book titled Man’s Search for Meaning.
1. When Dr. Frankl died in 1997 at the ripe old age of 92, his book had sold over 10 million copies in 24 languages..
2. Amazingly, Viktor Frankl had survived the holocaust even through he was in 4 different Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz from 1942-1945.
3. Sadly, Frankl’s parents and the other members of his family died in the concentration camps.
4. Listen to Frankl’s own words as he describes why he wrote the book: "I had wanted simply to convey to the reader by way of concrete example that life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones. And I thought that if the point were demonstrated in a situation as extreme as that in a concentration camp, my book might gain a hearing. I therefore felt responsible for writing down what I had gone through, for I thought it might be helpful to people who are prone to despair."
5. Frankl’s book certainly struck a chord in mankind’s search for meaning.
C. In 2002, Rick Warren capitalized on our longing for purpose when he wrote The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For?
1. On it’s 10th anniversary of release, Warren’s book had sold over 32 million copies in 50 languages.
2. The Purpose Driven life is the bestselling hardback book in history, and is the second most translated book in the world; second only to the Bible.
D. Most people really do struggle with the basic questions of life.
1. First there is the question of identity: “Who Am I?”
2. Second there is the question of importance: “Do I Matter?”
3. Third there is the question of impact: “What is my place in life?” “What is my purpose?”
4. I believe that the answer to all those questions is found in God our Creator and Loving Father.
E. Consider, for a moment, a hammer.
1. It's designed to hit nails. That's what it was created to do.
2. Now imagine that the hammer never gets used. It just sits in the toolbox.
a. It doesn’t care, because it’s not alive and doesn’t have feelings.
3. But now imagine that same hammer with a soul, a self-consciousness.
a. Days and days go by with him remaining in the toolbox.
b. He feels funny inside, but he's not sure exactly why.
c. Something is missing, but he doesn't know what it is.
4. Then one day someone pulls him out of the toolbox and uses him to break some branches for the fireplace.
a. The hammer is exhilarated. Being held, being wielded, hitting the branches -- the hammer loves it.
b. At the end of the day, though, he is still unfulfilled.
c. Hitting the branches was fun, but it wasn't enough. Something is still missing.
5. In the days that follow, he's used often.
a. He reshapes a hubcap, blasts through some sheet rock, knocks a table leg back into place. b. Still, he's left unfulfilled. So he longs for more action.
c. He wants to be used as much as possible to knock things around, to break things, to blast things, to dent things.
d. He figures that he just hasn't had enough of these events to satisfy him. More of the same, he believes, is the solution to his lack of fulfillment.
6. Then one day someone uses him on a nail. Suddenly, the light comes on in his hammer soul.
a. He now understands what he was truly designed for. He was meant to hit nails.
b. All the other things he hit pale in comparison. Now he knows what his hammer soul was searching for all along. (illustration taken from website: everystudent.com)