Writing a Book Takes Purpose
St. Augustine brought clarity to our reality when he wrote, “Nothing is commanded to man which is not given by God.”
God does everything first. First, he created, then He loved, then He purposed, and then He provided the means for us to accomplish His purpose. Quite amazing, don’t you think?
Proverbs 19:21 translated in The Message version of the Bible is as follows,
“We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.”
Writing a book takes Perseverance and Passion as I’ve written before. To those, we add Purpose. There needs to be a reason, an end goal, and a distinct objective for writing a book. There is a message that is crying to get out, a story that needs to be told lives to be impacted and God’s message to men and woman shared and experienced in new ways.
Writing in his bestseller and very impactful book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren writes.
“You cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your one plans.”
When we know our purpose, our path becomes straighter, less bumpy, and easier to follow. Like life, writing a book with a purpose is straighter, less bumpy, and easier to do. The biggest challenge in this purpose driven exercise is to clarify the purpose. When we struggle with our purpose, it is hard and bumpy. The goal is to shift when the objective is cloudy. When we clear our minds of ourselves and let God speak through us, the purpose wills out.
In writing the book, The Retirement Reformation, the purpose did not become clear until I wrote the epilogue. After multiple interesting and challenging, but ultimately false starts, it was not until I was sitting at the computer one night and the urge to write an epilogue came over me. My initial thought was, “That’s backward!” Fortunately, I listened to the prompt of the Holy Spirit and followed the pathway to its conclusion. With the clarity that came from this writing exercise, my anxiety lifted and I was able to go back to the beginning and write with the end in mind - the purpose.
Life is that way. We get so bogged down in the details of the journey, we either forget or are not clear about the purpose of the trip.
On a larger scale, isn’t the lack of clarity about the “Why” of the journey the greatest hindrance to the journey itself? God had a purpose for His creation. His first creations made some bad choices, and again, God’s purpose was put in motion to reconcile man and woman back to Him. God’s purpose that must drive our vision and actions.
When our purpose is to fulfill our needs, the needs are never fulfilled. When our purpose is to understand and follow God’s purpose for our lives, we have access to the fruits of the Spirit.
The Retirement Reformation movement is based on John 15:16 where Jesus says, “You did not choose me but I chose you and called you to bear much fruit, fruit that will last. Whatever you ask in my name, the Father will give you.”
The fruit we are to bear is the fruit that builds the unseen Kingdom of God. Our good deeds become the representation of God to the world. We are able to persevere because we are called to be faithful for a lifetime. Our faithfulness and gratefulness to God for loving and forgiving us are the elements that shape our purpose. Or should shape our purpose. Every time I get in the way, the road has those bumps and frustrations.
Changing the way Christians think about the last third of their lives is a simple statement of purpose for the Retirement Reformation. The process to carry out the purpose is to embrace the reality of longevity in our time, to acknowledge that God’s purpose for us extends to the very end of our lives, and He has prepared us for His purposes during our senior years while promising to uphold us when things get tough.
Writing a book takes purpose. Living a Kingdom directed life takes purpose. Loving God and our neighbor takes purpose. What’s the book of life that you are writing and what is its purpose? The question resounds, “Who are you and why are you here?” The answer is found in God’s purpose for the rest of your life. The challenge is to find it and then live it.
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Founder and Champion of the Retirement Reformation
See the webpage of the RetirementReformation.org for information on The Retirement Reformation, the book as well as the movement. The Retirement Reformation Manifesto is a wonderful summary with 10 key principles. Join the movement and sign the Manifesto.