Recently I read a writing by a theologian and teacher R C Sproul who past away last year. He is and was one of the most influential thinkers and speakers that helped me understand and have depth of meaning in living life. I had seen him a couple of times in person at lectures and did get to meet him once. Here is what I read:
Pursuing the Quest for Purpose
In the quest for purpose, we must distinguish between proximate and remote purposes. The proximate refers to that which is close at hand. The remote refers to the distant, far-off, ultimate purpose. The football player's proximate goal is to make a first down. The more remote goal is a touchdown. The even more remote goal is to win the game. The ultimate goal is to win a championship.
We remember the poignant meeting between Joseph and his brothers, when the brothers feared recriminations from their powerful brother for the treachery they had committed against him. But Joseph saw a remarkable concurrence at work between proximate and remote intentions. He said, " You meant it for evil; God meant it for good."
Here the proximate and the remote seemed to be mutually exclusive. The divine intention was the exact opposite of the human intention. Joseph's brothers had one goal; God had a different one. The amazing truth here is that the remote purpose was served by the proximate one. This does not diminish the culpability of the brothers. Their intent and their actions were evil. Yet it seemed good to God to let it happen that His purpose might be fulfilled.
I'm sharing this because my family and I are getting ready to go visit the grave site of my first born Acacia Noel Irwin, 'Casey' my little one. It was 20 years ago today that Diane and I said good bye to our beautiful 4 year old as she succumbed to cancers grip. Her two year battle seemed to be unfair, painful, wasteful, and evil. In a lot of ways it looked like that to see my precious girl have to deal with the disease and if there isn't a God above it definitely is meaningless. But for me, it had great meaning and purpose and I grow in understanding each day. Right now my head is swimming with all the things that have positively come from that period in my life that there is to much to right. So if you are willing and want to hear or read more about Casey and that time in my families life, go to my website and get my cell number and give me a call or send me an email. I would be more than happy to chat with you. Remember..."God meant it for good"...