J. Wallace Hamilton tells a story in one of his sermons about a bunch of unemployed men during the Great Depression.
These men were given a job to build a road in the wilderness. They were ecstatic to have a job and enthusiastically began to build the road.
Their enthusiasm began to dim when they realized that the road they were building led to “NOWHERE”
J. Wallace Hamilton, concluded that
“Roads to nowhere are difficult to build.”
When we are not living out our purpose in life, we often find ourselves walking down one of these infamous
“Roads To Nowhere”
You may be working extra hard so you can get ahead in life.
You might think that your purpose is to look good, so you spend your time in the gym, only to later realize that you were fighting a battle that nobody can hope to win.
Roads like that are hard to build.
So what is the purpose of life then?
If it isn’t about getting ahead,
Looking better than everyone else.
This is the question that everyone asks.
Most of us will spend our entire lives trying to discover the answer to that question.
For myself, as I have gotten older, (and hopefully wiser), I find myself wondering if it is even possible to understand the purpose of life.
Yesterday, I was reading through some scriptures in the New Testament about the final week of the life of Christ.
As I was reading the story about Jesus and his Disciples at the Last Supper, It hit me.
I mean it really hit me, right between the eyes.
But before I tell you what I finally realized, I want to go back to the time when the Jews were slaves to Egypt.
God sent 9 supernatural plagues upon Egypt to persuade them to release the Jews from bondage.
But Pharaoh REFUSED.
So God sent a final plague.
He sent the Angel of Death to descend upon Egypt and take the life of every single first born son.
But God provided the Jews with a protection from this judgement.
A PERFECT LAMB.
One without blemish or defect.
The Jews were ordered by Moses to sacrifice the lamb and to paint their door post with the blood of that lamb. When the Angel of Death saw that blood, it would pass over that house.
The blood of that lamb would LITERALLY shield them from God’s wrath.
That lamb gave it’s life so they could be saved!
Now let’s jump back to the night of the Last Supper.
Jesus has gathered his Disciples together to celebrate the Feast of the Passover.
Imagine how profound and sacred this particular Passover feast must have been to Jesus that year.
He walks in to the room to find the disciples arguing over who among them was the greatest.
Jesus knows his time is almost up, and that there was no time for a mere sermon.
He needed to MAKE them understand how they were going to have to walk among the people after his death in order to spread the gospel.
He needed to SHOW them how to be a sheep among wolves.
So The God of creation, got down on his knees and washed the feet of His Disciples.
He even did something that is unthinkable to me.
He even washed the feet of his betrayer.
I am positive that there is not a human who has ever lived that would be strong enough and possess enough humility to wash the feet of the person who would in just a few hours deliver them to their enemies to be tortured and murdered, but that is exactly what Jesus did.
Are you like the disciples?
Do you fight and struggle to prove that you are the greatest among men?
Do you live your life acting as if the purpose of life is all about you?
Most of us, myself included have the tendency to put the focus on ourselves, and assume that we DESERVE the “Best seat at the Table”
That night the disciples were caught up in a fight that 2000 years later we are still fighting.
In 2000 years nothing has really changed in the human heart.
Now lets put our focus back on the washing of the feet because I don’t want you to miss the importance of this act of service.
The “washing of the Feet” was a job reserved for the very lowest servant in the house.
Yet Jesus lovingly took this disgusting job upon Himself just to SHOW His disciples what service LOOKED like.
So they could know what unconditional love FELT like.
And to have a perfect example of how one is to live a life of humility in service of others.
He modeled for them the perfect way to live a life of
PURPOSE AND MEANING.
While the disciples were busy fighting over who deserved the Highest Position…
The God of All Creation quietly takes the lowest.
He demonstrated a completely different way to live that night.
Every single day of my life I am given the opportunity to live a life of humility.
Some times I choose wisely and take the road of kindness and service.
But other days,
I fight over my right to have the best seat in the house.
The world wants us to believe that the PURPOSE of LIFE is to obtain all the power and prestige that is humanly possible while we are alive…
If that is truly the meaning of life, then why have the rates of
and suicide risen so drastically in the last 50 yrs?
The road that we have been called to build is not the road that leads us to NOWHERE…
God has called us to build a road to a place of HUMILITY where we can finally discover our Purpose and Meaning.
So, what I realized while reading the story of the “Last Supper” was that the true purpose of life is:
To love others.
To put their needs ahead of my own.
To be a “Foot Washer”