In the midst of describing Jesus and His ministry, the Gospel of Mark then takes a turn, surprisingly making someone other than Jesus the central figure of a text–John the Baptist. It’s a case study in a life of purpose.
John the Baptist knew who he was. He knew what God wanted him to do. He did it. He was faithful. He was even, by any measurement, successful. In the end, after a strict and ascetic life, he was imprisoned and beheaded for his convictional preaching. Consider this:
God’s purpose doesn’t always come wrapped in perfect circumstances.
Things may be difficult or gritty or complicated, but these reasons don’t mean that God’s purpose is amiss. It is possible for you to find difficulty in your purpose. It is possible for you to find pain in your purpose (just ask Jesus!).
In short, we often talk about purpose as if, once found, it will sweep us away as a magic carpet would, taking us through beautiful blue skies and light clouds. But it is equally possible–even probable–that God’s purpose may take us through a challenging valley with a meaningly albeit definite end. Just as John.