Living Life with Faith and Purpose

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“Life is meaningless,” flashed through the boy’s mind as he plunged to his death. Since the beginning of time, the meaning of life has been the subject of heated debate, and has even robbed the lives of thousands—at least for those who could not seem to come to a conclusion. With countless possible solutions that have been portrayed through media, books, and people, this question has never been able to be answered until now. That’s right, the answers to all your questions, including the question, “does God exist?” have been found. Through thorough research throughout the dark alleys of Jackie Pullinger’s book, Chasing the Dragon, the cries of Japanese victims in the 2011 disaster, and Jeremy Lin’s response to his recent rise to stardom has revealed the secret that has only been known to few: Life is about making use of what you have to make a difference in the world.

Many people in the world today love to give excuses. Excuses for why they don’t have the time or the ability to accomplish certain tasks. However; even when Jackie Pullinger, a missionary from England, had many doors slammed in her face, she never gave up. It all started when Jackie had a dream that God was calling her to go to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government rejected her teaching application because they did not have any jobs available for musicians, and the Mission Society rejected her because she was too young to be sent to Hong Kong (Pullinger & Quicke, 2006, p. 19). Nonetheless, Jackie believed that, she “had simply to follow wherever God led,” and felt she “could not lose on this adventure” (p. 22).Therefore, after persuading her parents and praying about it, Jackie left the only world she knew behind and bought a one-way boat ticket to Hong Kong. At the time of her arrival, she had “no means of support, no home, no friends, no nothing,” and only had one hundred Hong Kong dollars on her, but was still determined to do what she had to do (p. 12). Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that everyone has to give up everything and sail half way around the world to share the gospel, or find meaning, but I am saying that everyone should make a habit of making a difference in the world, even if it is just in the little things. Jackie’s ministry was a success, not only because of her natural ability to change people, but because of the influence she left on others; the people she converted helped to change others as well. A nineteen year-old who had been charged for raping confronted Jackie and said that he wanted to know Jesus Christ after witnessing his friends in prison change from being filled with rancor to men with softened hearts. (p. 210). She is still influencing many people today and has already converted brutal triad gangsters, helped prostitutes quit their trade, and treated many drug addicts, all for the betterment of the world.

The Japanese disaster in 2011 is one of many examples of suffering in the world. An earthquake of the highest magnitude was apparently not enough for this country already struggling to recover; soon nature outdid itself by sending a tsunami crashing upon the fragile, damaged shores of Fukushima. At this point, it was assumed things could not get any worse for this humble nation; however, natural disasters such as these seemed to be only the beginning to a “revolution” of disaster for Japan. The force of the waters caused nuclear reactors to crash to the ground; spilling radioactive fuel everywhere. According to Hiserodt, “Estimates of the dead or missing—and by now this latter group must be moved into the dead column—is above 25,000 souls. A half-million residents are homeless, with many in danger of starvation since roads and railroads have simply disappeared (2011).” Yet, in Japan’s distress, most of us only glanced at the news and said, “Oh gosh, that is very sad,” but didn’t do much about it—in fact we did nothing about it. Occasionally being cultural gluttons, we watch whatever is in the media and absorb anything we encounter, instead of wringing ourselves dry to help clean up the filth and blood in the world. Yes, it is true that there were many organizations benevolently coming to Japan’s rescue, but they could only do so much. By previously donating your time to raise awareness to your community or actual money to these organizations, you were already taking action. You may not realize it, but you have the power to influence someone even in Japan, in the midst of utter tragedy; the power to give them the smallest margin of happiness that could change their life.

People in the world today build their life around fame, money, and success. I too have been sucked in and blinded by this belief that has driven society to where it is today. Although having motivation in life can have its benefits, we must strive for excellence with a bigger purpose lurking behind the scenes: to help others see the light. Jeremy Lin has been a perfect example of this. Instead of pulling a “Justin Bieber”, Jeremy Lin was not distracted through his sudden rise to fame and continued to have a strong faith in God; spreading the word whenever he could in interviews and on his YouTube channel. Jeremy Lin’s continual faith in God has also encouraged many people in China to have the audacity to speak out. One internet user even wrote, “Your physical agility has shown me the glory and omnipotence of God (“A ‘Linstant’ Star in China,” 2012).” By spreading the gospel internationally, Jeremy Lin is also fulfilling what Jesus has called us to do in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:17; New International Version)

So there you have it, with these three strong references, you now know the seemingly unanswerable meaning to life. Life is all about using the cards dealt to you in your life to influence the world in some shape or form. This is evident in the lives of Jackie Pullinger, and her life-threatening mission in Hong Kong, the victims of the Japanese disaster, and Jeremy Lin and his faith, as he enveloped in a world full of fame and recognition. God has placed all of us in the right time and place; in a world of suffering, in which we must carry out his plan and vision  by seizing every opportunity given to us.

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