Are you looking for happiness or purpose?  

A dripping tap is an annoying thing. I recently had one in my bathroom so I got to work quickly to change the washer. The problem was that the spanner I had was not quite the correct size. I tried it but it was of no use whatsoever.  I attempted to loosen the tap with other tools but this did nothing but burr the edges of the tap and caused me to eventually snap a plastic fitting, crimp a pipe beneath the sink and cause an even greater leak with water spraying everywhere.

What started as a small 10-minute job replacing a 50 cent washer turned into a day without water in the house, a few more hours’ work and a lot of mopping up. Yes, it was my fault, but I was using a tool that was not ‘fit-for-purpose.’

We read in Genesis that when God created the Earth He looked over all that He created and saw that it was ‘good’.

Another way to explain what was meant by the word ‘good’ was that it was ‘fit-for-purpose’. Everything God created had a specific role to play in the environment. For example, plants made fruit and seeds so they could increase in number and spread throughout the Earth. The plants converted the Carbon Dioxide that animals breathed out into Oxygen that animals needed to survive. Everything had a job to do and each job was essential for the functioning of the planet.

At the point of creation everything was fit-for-purpose. It was good. It worked. But after a while Mankind started to do things that took them away from God. They started to do things for their own personal gain and their own happiness. However, we are all creatures that constantly seek meaning and purpose in life. As Tim Costello puts it: “To approach life with the question ‘What can I get?’ rather than ‘What can I give?’ is to mistake happiness for purpose. This is a chronic mistake that results in many unhappy individuals. Happiness is not the goal, but rather a by-product of a deeper sense of purpose.”

We are fast approaching Easter, a time when we focus on the death and resurrection of Christ. Jesus lived the perfect life but I suggest that He was not always happy.  He knew the importance of fulfilling the purpose for which He was sent to Earth. His whole life was purposeful. There was a meaning behind His suffering and death on the cross. He was the only one on Earth who was fit for this purpose. The only one free of sin, and the only one who could take on our sins so that we could be saved. I am sure that when He was on the cross He was not happy. But He certainly was completing the purpose for which He came to Earth to fulfil.

Jesus’ sacrifice allows us to come back to God. To restore our relationship with Him. The Bible regularly reminds us that we were created for a purpose. There is a God given plan for our lives. The good news is that we don’t need to sit around and wait for someone to tell us what we should be doing. You were created ‘good’, you are fit-for-purpose. Wherever you find yourself you can make a difference.

This Term I have been so happy to see our students using their God given gifts. Our students were Primary and Secondary Zone Champions for swimming. We have had individual students make the Illawarra Academy of Sport, had dancers selected to perform in Swan Lake with the Australian Ballet,  football players awarded for their individual and team achievements, including Mr Wynn who was yet again selected in State and National teams for Oztag.

I have seen our student leaders present their vision at other schools and bring everyone together at community events. We have had students who enjoy hikes and outdoor challenges excel on those and we have seen countless personal bests in the classroom. Our STEM programs are thriving in the School and students are being extended and challenged with their learning. We have had students represent our  School in academic competitions and creative performances and they always make us proud. Even my indoor cricket team called the Epsom Salts have won a few games.

At Cedars there are a whole range of things that our students can get involved in to use the gifts that God has given them. The question I would encourage us all to think about over Easter and the Term break is, if my gifts and my hard work have placed me in a situation, what is my purpose for being there? Is it for my own personal happiness or could it be for something greater than that? So no matter where you find yourself, at school, work, sport, with friends or family ask yourself, “What is my purpose here?” “How do I fit?” “What is the role I play?” “How can I make life better for those around me?” “What can I do for God in this situation?”

I believe that as you pursue the answers to these questions you may become happier, but more importantly you will find purpose and uncover how you were individually created ‘fit-for–purpose’ by a loving God who sent his Son to die so that we may truly live.

I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Term break and a blessed Easter period. I look forward to seeing everyone back for the start of Term 2 with a purposeful approach to everything that comes their way.