Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Purpose Driven Life

I briefly mentioned this book a few days ago in my post about the wonderfully amazing women I have come to know via my virtual community. Since then I've been doing a bit of reading. You can find the first seven chapters online, here . There's been much discussion of this book in the media of late. Everyone is hearlding it's message. The book was already a bestseller. In fact the best of bestsellers. If you combined the top three books currently on the list, they still haven't sold as many copies as this one. Clearly Rick Warren has found what was lacking in the lives of many and is speaking to their hearts and souls. He is offering them spiritual nourishment in a time when it is sorely needed.
I believe a large part of that is because religion and the Bible (or the Koran/Alcoran) have become mired down in the battlefields of politics. There are sectors of our society who have decided to use the Judo-Christian/Islam faiths as their means of controlling society. They quote the Bible/Koran/Alcoran, (often out of context) and use it to set moral standards as they believe they should be. Instead of spreading love, faith, and hope, they are using them to exclude and damn anyone who doesn't fit into their narrow minded world of values.
Rick Warren's book offers us a reminder of what not just Christianity, but most faiths are suppose to be about. Sevrice. To God and to our fellow man. Not to judge but to serve, and to love. To love one another as we would love ourselves. To do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It is only through love and service unto God and our fellow man can we find the peace we seek. Only through the purpose driven life .
Look at those around us. Those who are sickest. Who face almost insurmountable obstacle's. They do so with such aplomb, such calm in the midst of the storms of their lives. Their faith sustaining them. Do you see them whinning or complaining? No. Instead they are busy, giving, loving, reaching out. Making the most of what they have.
On the other hand we see those who have it all. Home, family, health, a good income, and what are they doing? Whinning because everything is not perfect. They fall apart when people don't do as they want. When they don't get the attention they need and desire. When the world doesn't worship at their feet. When children disobey, or husbands/wives don't pay attention. When neighbors get a better car. Or their co-worker gets a raise (that of course SHOULD have been given to them). They spend so much time being petty and selfish they miss out on what is truly important in life.
There are those who wear the cloak of Christianity/Muslim but their actions and words deny that claim. They set themselves up as judge and jury over what is right and moral, hijacking the Bible/Koran/Alcoran to support their assertions. Failing to realize in their zeal that the Bible/Koran teaches love and tolerance, not hate,and judgement. That only GOD has the right to judge. Did Jesus not say in Matthew 7:1-5 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye,but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"
Maybe this is why so many are reaching out for this book. Because we are so weary of the angst, the bitterness, the lonliness that is seeping into our lives. We turn away from religion because it leaves a bitter taste in our hearts and souls. We seek fulfillment, peace, and the willingness of others to love one another. Our books of faith have been soiled, so we turn to something new. Something that teaches us not to judge and condem, but to give unto others,to love and to serve.
What greater joy can there be than to know you have brought a smile to the face and heart of someone in their hour of need? Surely not even being right can triumph that.

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