I went to my first funeral Saturday—yes, first. It was for my grandpa’s identical twin brother. I can say authoritatively I do not like funerals. I like them less the closer to my nuclear family they come. It scared me to think that will be my own grandpa soon enough. It scared me enough to continue wondering what a life of purpose looked like. So, I joked with those around me and laughed, but inwardly I was churning. Sunday reminded me why I’m glad I go to church. With Sunday’s message came the realization of the alternative to purpose and thus the reason for purpose. It brought some solace for a heart learning to grieve.

Purpose manifests itself in action.

A purposed life is one displaying purpose through its works. The man or woman of purpose isn’t content with merely believing his or her calling, but daily taking steps in its direction. This life isn’t idle, but active even in waiting. The purposed wait actively through prayer. The purposed are active in prayer. How can this be?

Purpose has a source.

If we believe God to be Sovereign over all, the Maker, then we believe Him to be the Source. Is He not also the source of purpose? There can be no following a purpose if we do not go back to its Originator and constantly clarify and rediscover its path. Just because we’ve been given a map doesn’t mean we are instantly navigational experts. We need someone who has traveled the route once before. We need someone to show us the way. Here is the beauty: not only do we have access to the Source of life and its purpose, but we also have a great high priest who has been all along this path before us (Hebrews 4:14-16). It’s up to us to ask for clarity whenever we need it and confidently.

Death without purpose.

Life without purpose is anything but life. Purpose is the soul’s lifeblood. Living a purposeful life is merely to express the beating of our heart. However, the air our soul so desperately needs is prayer and spiritual encouragement. And so, our souls must breathe for our hearts to continue to beat. Friends, I’ve told you before I don’t like funerals. Just because you’re not in a casket doesn’t mean you’re alive. No, purpose does.

As a young man finally tasting life for the first time, I cannot go back to the bitterness of death in which I lived before. Nor can I stand by and idly watch those around me wallow in shades of death. We were granted life long ago, but for the sake that we might live it vibrantly (John 10:10b). An early death has never fit anyone well. So, let us live today truly. Let there be no ambiguity that we are indeed alive. And let there be no confusion from where that life springs. Life is only such when lived in purpose. All else is death.