Living for a Cause

My Soccer Career

I can remember when I was at high school I chose soccer for sport one year.  It wasn’t the best year I ever had! In fact, other than a few games for everybody in the class, in the games that mattered, I just sat on the sidelines. 

It became clear to me the whole process of deciding who would play in these games was political.  The teacher had his “favourites.” They were the blokes who were fast, strong & coordinated. They could run fast and kick straight & take the ball from others with little effort. So, for those purely arbitrary reasons,  they got to play the big games & become soccer players.  I sat on the sidelines, developed character, and eventually became an electronics technician.

You Were Not Made to Sit on the Sidelines

Funny thing is, God did not create anybody just to sit on the sidelines. You were made to be in the game. No child grows up dreaming, “I’m going to be a great spectator. My heart’s desire is to be a tremendous watcher of television.”

We were made to be in the game. Our heart’s cry really is, “Put me in the game!  Allow me to make a difference in the world!”  But in retirement that’s harder than it sounds. Our society says to us “you’re too old to do stuff that matters.”

In the Bible is a book called “The Gospel of John.” That means the good news according to John. He was one of Jesus disciples and followed him around for the last three years of his life.  

In the final few chapters, Jesus is pictured standing on trial before the local governor – Pilate. Pilate asks “You are a king, then?” Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason (or “this cause” in some versions) I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”

So Jesus knew He was born for a reason and His life was to be lived for that cause.  He knew why he was on earth.  And even when Jesus faced certain death, he understood he had lived and would die for a cause. Just a bit earlier in the book of John (chapter 12 verse 27) Jesus says “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”

On more than one occasion Jesus says He was born for a cause.  He knew he came for a cause, He lived his life for a cause & He would die for a cause! That cause was to allow us to find meaning and fulfilment in life and a life free from the things that drag us down. 

But it seems to me in the western world we have often lost sight of what living for a cause means. If you look up the word “cause” in a dictionary, it says  ” a principle, aim, or movement to which one is committed and which one is prepared to defend.”  

My dad volunteered to go to war in World War II. It was not because he liked the idea of war – he hated it;  it was not because he wanted to take the risk of dying early; it was  not because war made any logical sense. He volunteered because he believed in a cause!  That was “a principle, aim, or movement to which he was committed and which he was prepared to defend.” He believed his presence on the battle field would contribute to keeping Australia safe from the invading armies from the north. I’m sure he understood he may get killed but if he did in his mind it would be worth it because the cause was bigger than he was.

Every year in Australia, we celebrate Anzac Day, and Remembrance day in November so that we will remember what so many Aussie men (and women) did for the cause they believed in. They all risked their lives for that cause. Many died for that cause. Others faced lifelong injuries for that cause.

What Cause Do You Live For?

But it’s not just those who went to war who are involved in a cause. Every moment of your life will be spent for one cause or another. Our lives are being driven by something. Some people are driven by anger.  Some people are driven by resentment.  Some people are driven by their possessions & the desire to acquire overwhelms them. Some are consumed by their consumables. Some people are driven by their past & they spend their whole lives  running from their past. Some people are driven by their parents – even 20, 30, 40 years after their parents have passed away they’re still trying to do what Mum or Dad approved of or, in some cases disapproved of.

So, like it or not you are living for a cause. That cause may be making you into a better person or may be taking you the other way. You get to choose the cause you live for – either positive or negative.

I believe God wants us to be people driven by a cause –  not just any cause but THE cause.  The same cause that drove Jesus and that’s where we can find meaning & significance every day in our lives no matter how trivial the things we are doing seem to be.

Since He knows the end from the beginning, only God can set your feet on a path where you will end up in the right place and make a difference every day on the journey. Sometimes that path will be an easy path but sometimes it will be tough. Jesus just asks us to trust Him and follow regardless of the circumstances.

Every human being has a chance to get involved in His cause in the world. That means if you’re alive, if your heart is beating, you still have a chance. You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did.  And if you’re alive, He has a purpose for your life and a cause for you to live for.  If you want to know more click here.

Find Your Cause

So, how can you find the real cause to live for? Well a good start is to take your bible off the shelf and find where the book of John is. (Here’s a clue – look in the index at the front). It also helps if the bible is in modern English – something like the New International Version of the Contemporary English version.

Then as you read the story of Jesus and his life, take note of the cause he seemed to live for. You may be surprised at what you find and you never know, if you take what you read seriously, it can change your whole life for the better.

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