The Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.” It is called “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”
The Temple’s inspiration was supposedly based on the great love the Moguel emperor Shah Jahn had for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. When she died he was devastated. Grief stricken, he ordered this edifice erected as her final resting place. No expense would be spared in honoring his beloved.
Many fascinating legends surround its construction. One says that Mumtaz’s coffin was placed in the center of the chosen parcel of land and the Mausoleum was built around it. It took twelve years to complete construction. So as time passed, the Shah’s sorrow was overshadowed by his passion for the project.
One day, as the story goes, the Prince was surveying the construction and bumped his leg against a wooden box. Angered, as he brushed the dust off, he demanded a worker to throw the box out. What Shah Jahan didn’t realize was that he had just ordered the disposal of his wife’s coffin!
This incredible story illustrates what happens when we lose sight of our purpose.
Purpose is vitally important. Myles Munroe wrote, “Until purpose is discovered, existence has no meaning, for purpose is the source of fulfillment.” Your purpose in life provides motivation, drives your work, supports your dreams and fires your passion.
Thomas Carlyle observed, “The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder—a waif, a nothing, a no man.” Often people reach a point in life that they realize they either lack purpose or are being driven by the wrong things like guilt. Fear. Anger. Or materialism.
Rick Warren, author of the “Purpose Driven Life,” was right when he wrote, “Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them. Without purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless.”
God purposed our lives in Jesus Christ before the world began. The Bible says, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”
It’s quite clear that the spread of Christianity was fueled by passionate people with a purpose. Obedience, sacrifice and commitment were motivated by God’s purpose. Ministry. Worship. Fellowship. Discipleship. Evangelism. These were not just acts to engage in for their own sake. Or for their own personal aggrandizement. They were driven by divine purpose.
All of this challenges us to ask….
Could we build a church building and forget the real reason for which it was erected?
Could we plan parties, potlucks and dinners and overlook the deeper meaning of our fellowship?
Could we engage in good works and neglect to honor Him in whose name they are being done?
Could we read our Bibles, go to classes, and memorize scriptures, yet fail to truly become like the One who said “Follow Me”?
Could we enlarge our church membership without actually converting people to Christ?
Could it be that our passion for “spiritual projects” sometimes obscures our focus on the scriptural purpose driving them?
When it comes our time to die. To be buried. And a rock erected on our grave site. There could be no better epitaph on our tombstone, than the one describing King David. “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.”
Ken Weliever, The Preacherman