Have you ever asked yourself why you do what you do? Why did you choose your career path, why do you go to church, why do you volunteer on a church ministry team, why do you give? These are questions that we don’t often stop and think about. If someone asked us what we do, most of us could offer a quick answer. Similarly, if someone asked us how we do something, we could answer just as quickly. But what if someone asked us why we do it, would a response come to our minds just as easily?
In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek states that most people are unfulfilled in their jobs and that most organizations are uninspiring because they have forgotten their why. He uses the example of the Ohio-born Wright brothers who built the first engine powered plane in 1903. The Wright brothers had an inexperienced team, no significant ties to industry and no financial support. Yet, they did what their more powerful competitors couldn’t do - they enabled humans to fly. They knew their why. The Wright Brothers weren’t motivated by the expectation to get rich or famous, rather they wanted to make the impossible possible. Their devotion was the key to their success. Even though they didn’t know exactly what to do or how to do it, their why gave them the determination and perseverance to keep going.
At our recent Sligo Youth Department (SYD) Leaders retreat, I asked each of the leaders to write down why they serve in the Sligo Youth Department. I mean, for many bystanders not familiar with Sligo, helping in the Youth Department wouldn't make much sense. Why does a SYD Leader choose to drive through bumper to bumper traffic on Friday evenings to make it to Sligo Church in time for youth Bible Studies? Why does a college student choose to sacrifice their limited time to help setup for Sabbath School and Underground? And why do they do it year after year? Here are some of the answers that the Sligo SYD Leaders gave:
So what is your why? Jesus once asked Joseph and Mary, “Why were you searching for me?” When on earth, Jesus knew His why. In Luke 4:43 Jesus stated, "I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." When you know your why, it becomes the compass that directs your path.
What is the why question Jesus has for you in 2018? Maybe before you start this year with a list of what you want to accomplish, perhaps it would be more useful to ask God, why do I want to accomplish it?
God promises that when we commit our why to Him, He will work out the how, "Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it." Psalms 37:5