“Discover Your Why” (Retaking the Village Green 11/17/20)


Ever have a song that gets stuck in your head?

This past Sunday during worship I shared that last week I did not have a song, but a question. It started by watching a business speaker talking about what kind of businesses thrive while others struggle. I was confronted with the question again while running on my treadmill by the running coach on my app. It was the simple question,


In the case of my treadmill session it was, “Why are you running today?”

            “Because I like being uncomfortable and sweating? – NOT”

The more I thought, the more I realized it is an important question for each of us to answer for our lives, especially considering our current conditions.

“Why do I do what I do in my life?” “Why do I get up every morning?” “Why do I even try to…?”

The business speaker used the example of Apple as a computer company. “Why do people buy products from Apple? Why do they succeed where others fail?” His point (my summary) was that most companies start with answering the “What?” question. “What do you do? – We build computers.” “How do you do it? – By gathering vendors, equipment and customers.” Finally, “Why do you do it?” “To make a profit and a good product.” Not a very inspirational model to attract fan loyalty. Apple starts with answering the “Why?” question- “Why do you do it? – “To be on the cutting edge of innovation in design, technology and life- want to buy one?”

As I thought more about this pounding on the treadmill, I realized the answer to the “Why?” question truly drives and either motivates, or un-motivates my life. “Why are you on this device of torture running in your basement?” If my answer wasn’t, “To ensure the best possible health of my life to spend with the people around me that matter,” then any temporary goal of a “better running time” or “feeling better about myself” is very short sighted, and in the end unsustainable. Age will catch up and times will slow. “Feeling better” will be gauged by my mood of the day, events of the day and weather of the day, or other factors. Knowing my, “Why?” for what I do is far more important than knowing the “What? Or How?” of my life.

This then translates into ministry. Most churches, and many followers of Jesus lead with the, “What?” answer. “What do you do?”- “I do Bible studies, I do worship, I prepare meals, I lead youth group, I… all “what?” answers. We then move to the “How?” question. “I/We do these things by recruiting (begging) people to attend events, lead studies, lead youth groups, classes, play on worship teams, etc.” and eventually we get around to a “Why?” answer like, “To glorify God” (not a bad reason). As I thought more, my conclusion was that I was shooting far too low in my expectations, and my answers. I needed to clarify my “Why? – Why is ministry, why is following Jesus worthwhile?” Here is what I discovered about myself.

My “Why?” goes something like this. Almost everyone I know looks around at the world and thinks, “This is not what I want. Life’s hard. Things are broken, and I don’t see it getting better.” As I read Scripture, I think God would say the same.

The world we live in now was not God’s plan for us. A world where life would be a struggle, and each day would bring a new maelstrom of problems. Scripture says that God’s original creation was, “very good” and it was/is our rebellion, our rejection, our sin against God that created the brokenness we now live in. The promise from God is that one day this world would be recreated again into a place free from the pain and brokenness we now see.

“Why do you do what you do?”- “Because I choose to see the world as God intended, not as it is; and as a follower of Jesus want to do all I can to help as many as I can become a part of God’s intended world by following Christ.” To me that is a much greater way to honor God and stay motivated when so many would follow simply out of comfort or convenience. It lifts my sights higher, to see life – mine and others – higher as God sees it, than my perceptions. It helps keep me from discouragement.

In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance.” I hope and pray that I can help lead others, inspire others, motivate others to join in and discover the abundance of life that only Jesus can provide. It is a far higher and more inspiring message than simply, “Join our church.”

God wants to help each of us find our “why?” It starts by discovering the “Who?”, Jesus, in each of our lives and joining Him in His mission.

Back to the treadmill- there’s work to be done.


Pastor Kevin



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