In one of the latest issues of Sports Illustrated there’s an article about a group of surfers who travel around the Pacific in pursuit of the big waves. They have a sophisticated website that tracks the storms and predicts where the big waves will hit. They effectively network with each other about travel plans. Everything in their lives revolves around their surfing those big waves. It’s obvious that this is their purpose in life.
What is the purpose of life? That’s a question LDS missionaries like to ask people. It’s a great question. But it’s one that a lot of people often haven’t given much thought to. I have seen many people respond to it with a blank stare as they figuratively (and sometimes literally!) scratch their heads.
What’s the purpose of life? Mormonism’s answer is that this mortal life is a time of testing – a time to progress and prove our worthiness. For example, the LDS manual, Gospel Principles states: “Our Heavenly Father knew we could not progress beyond a certain point unless we left Him for a time. He wanted us to develop the godlike qualities that He has. To do this, we needed to leave our premortal home to be tested and to gain experience. . .If we passed our tests, we would receive the fulness of joy that our Heavenly Father has received.” (p. 10-11)
So what has all this to do with those surfers? Just a day or so after reading that article, I was studying John 1. Verse 17, talking about Jesus, says: “And of his fulness have all we received, grace for grace.” I immediately thought about that article which described how the waves would come one right after another. That is exactly what John is here describing about Jesus. He sends one wave after another, not of testing, but of grace. His grace is like the ocean. We can never plumb its depths. Paul wrote: “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Romans 5:20) God’s grace is like an endless series of waves washing over us.
What’s my purpose in life? To catch and keep on riding the waves of God’s grace. It is my goal to be propelled through life by the power of his grace, his love which caused him to save me freely – which continues to wash over me daily. But I don’t want to keep this to myself. Just like those surfers, I want others to experience the exhilaration of riding those waves. I want others to have the wonderment of knowing that even though they have failed the test = Jesus has passed it for them – that where their sins abounded, God’s grace is there in much greater abundance. Catch and ride the wave of God’s grace. It’s the greatest ride in the world.