While we’ve seen many tragedies happen this past year and the world becomes increasingly chaotic, it’s important for us to keep our eye on our purpose. We may not know it, but our actions are important. We need to think about our time here on earth and what can be done to make it a better place.
Bishop E W Jackson is one of those spiritual leaders who has been able to turn his own situation around in his life. He started life in foster care up until he was 10 years old. During that time, he fell into the wrong path until his father came into his life. He witnessed how the love and discipline of a father can change the life of a young person. Today, his message focuses on how to save our youth and what we can do as adults to both stay faithful and spiritual while setting up younger generations for success.
As seniors, our stories are very important. Younger generations only learn about history through textbooks and documentaries, but our stories tell a different perspective. Some of us have served the country or devoted our lives to helping others through business or educating. We each have a unique perspective and upbringing that shaped who we are today. It’s our job to tell those stories and let younger generations learn from our successes, missteps and regrets.
For Bishop E W Jackson, his perspective is that of a man who started off life raised by illiterate foster parents, experiencing the streets in a gang and getting into trouble. These moments shaped him and are the driving force behind his purpose today. His ability to get out of his situation, finish high school, join the Marines, go to college and eventually Harvard Law School is the driving force behind his many initiatives. Starting a church, a youth center, a foundation, a podcast and speaking around the country are all part of his mission to get his word out. While his upbringing is not entirely unique, it’s unique to that of Americans and he wishes for everyone to know that America provides these opportunities for people of all backgrounds.
As a pastor of The Called Church, which he founded in Chesapeake, Virginia, he emphasizes the loving power of God. No matter what our background or life experience, he teaches that we are all made in God’s image. We all have God within us and it’s our duty to live as such. He mentions that we aren’t here by accident and what we do with this moment is important. He wants us to come to grips with the purpose of our own existence.
What can we do as seniors to live out our purpose? Bishop E W Jackson says to ask God, “in the time I have left, help me to fulfill the purpose for which you put me on this earth before my time is up.” He says that it’s not too late to tell your story and live out your purpose. He says, “when you’re older you realize you’re in the fourth quarter of the game. You don’t want to waste it; you want to win.” Think about your time as being in the fourth quarter. It doesn’t matter what happened in the first three, this is the one that matters. This allows your life to have more meaning and purpose than it’s ever had before.
An important takeaway here is to understand that we all have a unique purpose here on earth. God gives us the tools and experiences to tell our stories. Whether we tell them on Facebook, at book clubs and Bible studies or at family gatherings, it’s important to talk. Once our life on earth ends, our stories live on through the generations that know them. If they don’t know them, they won’t be able to pass them down. So it’s your duty to tell them.