There are a couple of ways to go through life. One is meet it passively, merely reacting to what goes on around and in us automatically, without giving much thought to it. Another way to do life is to be intentional and proactive instead of reactive. This kind of life is purposeful, thoughtful, and responds to what happens around it instead of merely reacting. It is more of the abundant life God promised us.
Very often this second kind of living comes from someone who has learned what a speaker at a past leadership conference called our “White Hot Why” (what a friend of mine misheard as “White Hot Wife,” but that’s another article entirely). People who have found their White Hot Why have discovered the passion that drives them, their raison d’etre, the foundational motivation upon which they build their lives and filter everything that comes their way.
This anthem addressed what should be the White Hot Why of every believer. Jesus should be the Reason that is the foundation of our lives, the filter through which all our choices and responses pass, and the explanation for everything the world would find remarkable about us.
When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at Pentecost, and their witness became bold and noticed by the Jewish authorities, Acts tells us that people took note that these men had been with Jesus. The world noticed that He was the Reason they behaved as they did.
Jesus, Himself, told His followers that people would recognize that they were His disciples because of their love for others—that He was the Reason for the obvious sacrificial love they would display. And this, indeed, became the hallmark of the church which, at great risk to themselves, would care for plague victims that the pagans were afraid to go near, and to take in the babies abandoned at the side of the road (the ancient form of abortion). Even the historians of those times made note that the reason these discarded ill and babies were cared for was because these caregivers were Christ-followers.
Even as believers we have a choice whether to try to coast along, reacting to life (even if we react in Christian ways), or come at this life God has given us with intention and purpose, making Jesus the Reason for all we do. Is He truly the reason we sing, or do we just like to sing and enjoy the company of all the fun people in choir (because choir people are really a fun bunch!)? Is Jesus the Reason for our hope and peace? Are hope and peace feelings we possess, and do we recognize them as coming from Him? And, if so, do others know that He is the reason for our peace and hope, our life, our song?
Do we wake up in the morning and just take the day as it comes, or do we wake up and say, “Lord, show me the reason You gave me breath and life for this day”? Do we ask Him to be our Reason, to make us more aware of our reason, our purpose for being placed in this world, in this family, in this church, in this neighborhood, in this work place?
So many people wander through life without a reason, that when they run into someone who possesses an unmistakable sense of their reason they take note, and they may actually ask us about it.
If someone were to ask you today about your purpose, the reason for your joy, or hope, or steady faith in the middle of trial, what would you say to them? Could you articulate clearly what drives you—Who motivates you to do more that just exist, and why?
For some of us this will require a time of quiet reflection and prayer. Perhaps we have tried to coast a bit, not realizing that the abundant life Jesus offered us is not just for the next world, but begins here as we make Him our intentional White Hot Why, our Reason. If so, let it begin today!
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries