North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose 

    My son graduated from high school and wasted no time in pursuing career opportunities. His part time job in real estate motivated him to study for, complete, and pass the initial real estate license exam. He also enrolled full-time in college. Although the future is bright for him in the business world, he’s still cognizant that his life is worth more than a vocation. We’ve talked about divine purpose and divine providence. And the ultimate use of our God-given abilities. It does a person a great deal of good to see the potential in life and know that life presents many opportunities if we look for them.    Sometimes at superficial glance there seems to be a great waste in human life. I read the following story as told by a preacher long ago. He said he had the good fortune of being invited to stay with a family in their beautiful farmhouse in the country. The woman of the house met him with a smile, but he sensed sorrow in her voice. After a little conversation, she showed him to his room.

    As she opened the door, she lowered her voice and said, “I’m going to give you the room that was my daughters’ who is now in heaven. Everything in it is just as it was when she left it. The books on the shelves, pictures hanging on the wall, the vases and photographs on the mantel and the furniture in the room are just the same as when she went away.”

    She stepped across the room to a beautiful old-fashioned bookcase and pointed to a rolled parchment tied with a pretty pink ribbon, “And there’s her diploma, lying just as she threw it there when she came home from college, and only a few days before she got sick. I came up with her to the room, and she flung the diploma in there and it stuck at an angle just like you see it. My daughter closed the door on it and said she was glad she got it. It hasn’t been touched since. Two weeks later, I buried her beside her father. But there lies her unused diploma that cost her so much hard work, and that she was so proud to obtain.”

    This sweet mother had the painful feeling there had somehow been a great waste in all the hard work her daughter had performed to earn her diploma. In her mind, the diploma represented an education that her daughter was not permitted to use on earth. This story, though unique in its circumstance, seems to happen to young and old all the time. People are always acquiring knowledge, learning trades, and disciplines which they never seem to have the opportunity of using. Many people hesitate to pay the price in sacrifice and hard work to enlarge their scope of wisdom, for fear they’ll never have any opportunity to get a valuable return for it in dollars and cents. The internal debate for many young people on their way to college is the question, “Will this pay off for me?” After performing a great miracle, Jesus told his disciples, “Now, gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted” (John 6:12).

    The most important thing about getting an education isn’t whether or not it will make the young person wealthy; the great question is will it make them a person of character? Will it make them noble and responsible? Will it give them an imaginative mind? Will they use it to help others and not just themselves? So many people enter the professional world like a mass of struggling ants climbing up an exaggerated ant-hill trying to get to the top first. Goals and aspirations are to be admired, but is there a vision of God’s greater purpose for the person who achieves? The world looks out for self. We must realize there’s a mighty battle going on, and that every human heart has joy and sorrow. Nothing of other people’s concern should be seen as wasteful or commonplace.

    It seems to me that today we need all-around young men and women. Whatever calling or profession a person chooses, we need to promote the healthy idea that you should be more than a doctor, lawyer, preacher, teacher, construction worker, farmer, architect, lineman, clerk, accountant, cook, business owner, engineer, janitor, police officer, or housekeeper. Be first, a well-rounded, well-informed man, woman, or child with character. The more generous you are in your education of mind and heart, the greater your personality will be, not only in your chosen line of business, but in the larger relation you have with the world.

    No honest work which we do to enlarge our scope of knowledge and clarify our mental and spiritual vision is ever wasted. We need this ability so that the mountains, the beaches, the woodlands, gardens and fields, and the hearts of people we meet reveal the goodness and glory of God. This is never a waste. The unused diplomas of life help us practice for the greater world of heaven in which Christians will enjoy. Honesty on earth will be honesty in heaven. Patience on earth will be patience in heaven. On earth, the faith, hope, and love we use to achieve, will be celebrated and practiced in heaven. The eternal strides we make on earth are the ones that lead us to heaven.

    Let us go on gathering all the knowledge we can and cultivate it into our hearts and minds. What appears to be an unused diploma or insignificant occurrence is never wasted. God used a little boy’s five loaves of bread and two fish to feed thousands (John 6:1-14). Even the left-over fragments were useful! Do you have questions about your future? “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33). Be all you can be and use every experience while seeking out what God has in store for you.


• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. You can contact him at:

Posted by on Aug 13 2017. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *