你的目的是什麼?

By Fritz Klumpp

我的高中田徑教練對我說:「你的狀況看起來相當好,只要你不在同一個地點跑太久!」這是他諷刺性的說法,我就像一個坐在搖椅上的人,我的跑步形態顯示出許多活動力,但卻沒有多少進展。對我們許多人而言,我們的生活也像這樣。我們很忙,但我們完成了什麼?若我們完成的事很少,我們為何還繼續做我們一直在做的事?

我曾經覺得所羅門王的一生非常精彩,他是大衛的兒子,以色列第三任國王,且被認為是最有智慧的人。所羅門在主前10世紀統治以色列,也造就了這個國家的黃金年代。雖然他有驚人的成就,晚年也惡名昭彰,然而在他快要離世時,他對自己一生的總結是:「凡事都是虛空(沒有意義)」(傳道書1章2、14節)。

當我看所羅門在他著名一生所有的成就,我不禁要問:「一個從一開始就做得那麼好又那麼多的人,為何在生命快結束時,卻說他達成的每件事都沒有意義?」

一開始我們許多人都理想性地做我們覺得對自己生命有意義的事,但一段時間後我們就失望了。我從許多一開始就以軍人為職業的人當中觀察到這現象。他們把軍職理想化,認為自己可以幫忙完成重要的事,但戰爭的真實面使人們的理想幻滅。失去目的的結果甚至造成創傷後壓力症候群(PTSD)。從政──或進入職場的人也常常經歷這樣的幻滅。

每個人都不希望自己的生命不算什麼;我們都想要活出有意義的生命。我常常想到哲學家布萊茲.巴斯卡(Blaise Pascal)的話,「每個人心中都有一個空處,那空處只有上帝能填滿。」作家約翰.麥斯威爾在他的「職場事奉版聖經」(The Maxwell Leadership Bible)中談到另一種空處──生命的空處,那只有生命的使命才能填滿。

所羅門的結論說:在「日光之下」(傳道書4章7節)所做的一切工作「都是虛空,都是捕風」(傳道書1章14節)。若在「日光之下」無法找到生命的意義,那麼我們必須在別處找。我們必須往日光之上找。若我們要找到真正的意義與目的,我們必須往上帝那裡找。

我長期的朋友與生命導師,喬.高吉紹多年來一直挑戰我要寫出「生命目的宣言」。他告訴我:「成功的公司都有宗旨或使命宣言,所以你為何不寫?」我最後接受他的挑戰,並且發現當我思考我的生命目的,且把它訴諸文字,那就成為一個指南針,讓我拒絕次好的而去尋求最好的。

在聖經擴充版(the Amplified Version),使徒保羅寫道:「(我已決定我的目的)是要認識耶穌基督──我要漸漸更深入並更親密地認識祂,更強烈並更清楚地體會及了解(祂的奇妙)…」(腓立比書3章10節)。以生命目的而言,這似乎是一個合理的生命目的宣言。

你的目的是什麼?你為何做現在做的事?若你沒有生命目的宣言,為何沒有?

弗瑞茲.柯藍普和他的妻子安(Ann)住在美國維吉尼亞州的Ashland。他曾是美國海軍的飛行員,曾打過越戰。自達美航空的機師職位退休後,他曾在美國CBMC擔任多年的執行總幹事。他也曾在房地產業。他的網站是http://fritzklumpp.com。

省思 / 討論題目
你的生命中是否曾經歷過雖然付出許多努力和行動,卻沒有達到多少成就?可能這正是你現在生活的寫照。你認為情況為何會如此? 所羅門王對生命有這淒涼的評價:「都是虛空(沒有意義),都是捕風。」你對此有何看法? 作者建議花點時間思考你自己的生命目的,並將它寫下成為正式的生命目的宣言。對此你的觀點如何? 若今天有人問你生命的目的,你會如何回答?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言6章20-23節,14章12節,17章24節,19章20節;傳道書12章9-14節;馬太福音5章16節;6章19-21、33節

WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?
By Fritz Klumpp

“You look pretty good,” my high school track coach said to me. “If only you would not run so long in one place!” That was his sarcastic way of saying that like a man in a rocking chair, my running style showed a lot of activity, but not much progress. For many of us, our lives tend to look that way, too. We keep busy, but what have we accomplished? If we have accomplished little, why do we continue to do the things we have been doing?

I have been fascinated with the life of the person known as the wisest man who ever lived: King Solomon, son of David and Israel”s third king. Solomon reigned during the 10th century B.C., presiding over Israel”s golden age. Despite his amazing accomplishments and notoriety, however, his summation of life, from a perspective near the end of his days, was that “all is vanity (meaningless)” (Ecclesiastes 1:2,14).

Looking at Solomon and all he achieved during his celebrated lifetime, I cannot help but ask, “How could one who started so well and did so much, arrive at the end of his life and conclude that everything that he accomplished was meaningless?”

Many of us idealistically start out doing something we feel will give meaning to our lives, but in time we become disillusioned. I have observed this with many who begin careers in the military. They are idealistic, thinking they can help to accomplish important things, but the realities of war can lead to disillusionment. The resulting loss of purpose can even contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The same disillusionment is often experienced by people engaged in politics – or the workplace.

Everyone wants life to count for something; we all desire to live a life of meaning. I have often thought of philosopher Blaise Pascal”s statement about the “God-shaped vacuum” that exists in every person”s heart; a vacuum only the Lord can fill. Author John Maxwell in The Maxwell Leadership Bible refers to another vacuum – the life-sized vacuum that only a life mission can fill.

Solomon”s conclusion that “all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:3) pertains to works done “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 4:7). If meaningful purpose for life cannot be found “under the sun,” then we must look elsewhere; we must look toward the heavens. If we are to find real meaning and purpose, we must look to God Himself.

My longtime friend and mentor, Joe Coggeshall, challenged me for many years to write a “life purpose statement.” “Successful companies have a purpose or mission statement,” he would tell me, “so why don”t you?” I finally accepted his challenge and have since found that considering and putting my life purpose into words has become a compass allowing me to reject the good in favor of seeking the best.

In the Amplified Version of the Bible, the apostle Paul writes, “(For my determined purpose is) that I may know Him (Jesus Christ) – that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding (the wonders of His person) more strongly and more clearly…” (Philippians 3:10). As life purposes go, that seems like a reasonable one.

What is your purpose? Why you do what you do? If you do not have a life purpose statement, why not?

Fritz Klumpp and his wife, Ann, live in Ashland, Virginia, U.S.A. He was a U.S. Navy pilot, having served during the Vietnam War, retired after a career as a jet pilot for Delta Air Lines, served several years as executive director for CBMC-USA, and has been in the real estate business. He has a website, http://fritzklumpp.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have there ever been times in your life when it seemed despite great activity and much effort, you were not accomplishing much? Perhaps this describes your life right now. Why do you think that has been the case? What do you think of King Solomon”s somewhat dismal appraisal of life – “all is vanity (meaningless) and grasping for the wind? 3Mr. Klumpp suggests the idea of taking the time to consider your own purpose in life, and then putting that into a formal life purpose statement. How do you respond to that idea? If someone were to ask you today about your life purpose, how would you answer? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 6:20-23, 14:12, 17:24, 19:20; Ecclesiastes 12:9-14; Matthew 5:16, 6:19-21,33

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