Finding Our Purpose

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In our modern world new inventions are brought to our attention almost every day. And discoveries which will hopefully lead to a cure or at least a drug to delay or lessen the effects of a disease are found all the time. Who are we to thank for all of these discoveries? As Jews, we can proudly point to Israel being the start-up nation, but is that the major component? Could it be that Israel, inventors and researchers have a secret invisible weapon? Is there a player or element with great power that can easily be overlooked or forgotten because it is hidden?
I am not talking about money, although I do agree that money does definitely help in the world of research. However, many start-ups have begun in garages on very low budgets. I am talking about God. Before you stop reading, it really doesn’t matter or not if you actively believe in God. If you prefer substitute the word purpose for God.
Let’s look at the Biblical story of Esther. Esther was basically a follower. She didn’t think for herself. She did as she was told. It was not until danger was at her doorstep that she stepped up to the plate. Even then it was the words of Mordechai that put her into action. When Haman had put into motion all the steps to kill the Jews Mordecai told Esther that if she didn’t say something to the king then the Jews would be saved somehow, even if her father’s house would perish, but, and here comes the important part, perhaps she was put into her position as queen for just this situation. She was meant to help the Jews. This was her purpose.
How many times have you wondered what your purpose is? It definitely is not clear for many of us. Maybe our purpose is defined by God and maybe it isn’t, but the opportunity to take action for a situation, whether one steps up to the plate or not, is ours. Esther stepped up to the plate. She seized the opportunity to do what she could in the situation. There were a few earlier signs of Esther changing from a follower to a woman of action, but this certainly sealed her character. All of a sudden she is making plans, giving directions, and moving towards her ultimate goal.
Esther is definitely an important role model for us and our teenagers who are at an age where they are just beginning to decide things for themselves. They can be moody, rebellious, contentious and who knows what else.The fact is that they are hard to live with. But life isn’t easy for them either. They feel that they are alone trying to find their way. Hey, be happy that they are trying to find their way! We can help them by presenting them with good role models.
That is the reason that Enjoying the Book of Esther: The Bible in Rhyme is good for teenagers. The book contains the whole biblical book of Esther, but is written with a twist: it is all in rhyming couplets. This innovation helps give a fresh look to an old story. Although the book follows the Biblical verses, it helps slow down the reader, which helps to take a look not only at the characters, but how they and their situations can parallel our lives.
God cannot be found in the story of Esther, yet if you look He can be found everywhere. Likewise people can be found all over the world, but for most of us our purpose can only be found if you really look. We all do have a purpose, even if we don’t know what it is. Or perhaps you would prefer to look at it that we can all make our lives purposeful, no matter what our circumstances.
Either way, the story of Esther can inspire all of us to take another look at our lives. Perhaps we are not in a position to come up with a cure for a disease, or to invent some new gadget that people will not know how they lived without, but we can make the world a better place, at least in some small way. We can all help a neighbor, donate some time to a   or used clothes store, help out in a school, or do any myriad of little things that make life a bit better for someone else. We may never be a hero or a heroine, but we can be good people who look around and try to help out where there is a need.
This is not just a story for Purim. Help a teenager, or anyone, rethink finding their purpose in life. Whether it is a teenager, going through the normal struggles of finding themselves, or someone older going through a hard time, help them figure out that someone’s purpose in life is about how they use their situation for the good of others.
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