I’ve recently been pondering a simple three word question: “To what end?” We get wrapped up in many pursuits as we go through life and develop habits that we execute without a second thought. Everything we do is for some reason or some purpose. Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. With so much going on, it can be easy to forget your purpose and your mission. Asking, “To what end?” helps us look at our actions in a new way. What will be the ultimate result of our activity? Will it bring glory to God? Is it something self-serving? If followed to its natural end, what impact will our actions have for the Kingdom of God?
What currently has your attention? What’s keeping you up at night or propelling you out of bed in the morning? I encourage you to ask the “To what end” question of yourself concerning those activities. It is remarkably easy to take our eyes off of Jesus and lose sight of that for which we are living. What good is it if we achieve all of our dreams yet lose Jesus along the way? (Mark 8:36) Nothing ultimately matters except for following and bringing glory to Christ. Nothing else we pursue or allow to consume our lives will ultimately mean a thing.
We know what we want and we want it now. Recognize that the end never justifies the means. The “means” matter; how you go about doing what you’re doing is as important is what you are accomplishing. Asking the “To what end” question can help here as well. If what you are seeking causes you to lie or dishonor God in any way, what is the ultimate end of that direction? The ultimate end is that you will harm your relationship with Jesus. As a follower of Christ, can you honestly say that anything is worth destroying intimacy with your Creator?
As you pursue success, pleasure, comfort, security, or anything else in this world, it is important to always consider where your path is ultimately leading you. Is what you are doing to glorify God or fill some temporary and elusive physical or earthly need? Whatever we do we should do for God. Whatever work our hands find should glorify Him and help further His mission. We were created to worship and commanded to serve. How often do those two things play into your daily decisions?
There is a time to rest, to play, to enjoy yourself, and recharge (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). God rested on the seventh day of creating which should give us some idea of what percentage of our time should be spent on working to fulfill His mission and how often we should be relaxing from that work. Far more often than not I think we get that equation reversed. Before charging into your day I encourage you to ask the “To what end?” question. Why are your striving? For what are you working? Is there a God motivated answer? If not it may be time to recalibrate, redirect and redefine your life. It’s all about Jesus and nothing else.