TONY ELDER: Life's purpose can only be found in Jesus

Imagine that a Louisville Slugger baseball bat found itself being shipped from its factory where it had been made to a small town. It was received by an older couple who proceeded to set it aside in a corner of a closet.

As the bat stayed there, it began to wonder if it had any real purpose in existing.

But one day the couple removed that uniquely-crafted piece of wood from its isolation and began to use it — to prop open a door. The bat actually started feeling useful.

It wasn’t long before the older gentleman began to grab the bat and take it with him on walks through the neighborhood — using it to threaten and ward off barking dogs. With that additional daily job, the bat felt a greater sense of purpose.

Then the elderly lady of the household grew more feeble. So she sometimes took the bat and used it almost like a walking cane around the house, to help her maintain her balance and keep herself from falling. The bat was especially pleased to find itself being of such assistance to this kind lady.

This relationship continued until the couple’s teenage grandson visited one day. He noticed the bat, grabbed it around its handle, and swung it a few times in an exhilarating way it had never experienced before. His grandparents ended up giving him the bat to take home with him.

A few days later, the bat found itself on a field being used to hit baseballs. When it hit a ball in its “sweet spot” sending the sphere screaming into the outfield, the bat knew that for the first time it was fulfilling its real purpose. It realized it wasn’t meant to merely prop open doors, scare away dogs, or be used as a walking stick, as useful as some of those activities may have been. It was meant to hit baseballs.

That’s what the Louisville Slugger company had made it for. And it was only when it was being used for what it was created to do that it found its true purpose and meaning.

The same could be said of us. The Bible declares that all things were created through Jesus and for Him (Colossians 1:16). That includes us. We have been created by Jesus and for Jesus. Our lives aren’t all about us — they’re about fulfilling the purpose for which Jesus has created us.

There are many good things we can do with our lives, some of which will give us a sense of meaning and usefulness. But we aren’t going to discover the true and greatest purposes of our lives apart from Jesus. We aren’t going to discover what we were made to do until we get our lives in line with the One who made us.

We were created to know Him, to do His will, and to glorify Him. It’s when we put our trust in Him as Savior, surrender our lives to Him, and seek to fulfill His plan and purposes for us that we find true meaning in life.

The Lord has many different specific plans and purposes for each one of us — creating us with our own unique qualities and abilities. But we were all made to live a life that will bring honor and glory to Him.

So don’t settle for being a door prop when the Lord has made you to hit baseballs. You’re only going to find your greatest joy and meaning as you seek to fulfill your Creator’s purpose for your life.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at revtelder@aol.com.