1 Samuel 17:29 (NKJV)
David said these words when his motives were questioned by his brothers who thought he came to the battle to eavesdrop and gossip. David in his boldness answered, “Is there not a cause?”. The fact is that everyone needs a cause.
Charles Wesley once said, “There is no holiness without social holiness”. Our spirituality cannot be confined to our own little world and be authentic. A cause is something you give your life to, along with your passion, time, and energy. A real cause will inevitably outlive you. Your cause is not your occupation or career. Your cause is your hot button - the thing that makes you passionate and emotional. When someone pushes that button, it activates something inside you - something on fire that can’t easily be put out.
It is a dangerous thing to live your life without a cause. When you don’t have a cause, you float through life in Default Mode. You fall into pettiness, laziness, and can even battle depression due to having no purpose. When we have no cause, we live for small things, and ignore the big things in life.
One of the saddest thing in the world is for a person to wake up in their older years and realize that they’ve wasted their life - That they lived for less than they should have. Jesus looks for those with a cause when, in the last day, he says, “Well done, you good and faithful servant”. Their lives had a specific purpose that went beyond just being a good Christian.
There are some things to know about having a cause. First, your cause must be a God-cause - something that transcends political agendas and parties. There must be an inherent truth that fuels you. For David, it was that someone was insulting his God. David was on the side of truth. In World War 2, there was never any doubt why the allies fought the war. There was an evil force bent on overrunning the world.
Secondly, a true cause is always greater than you. It may even outlive you. Gutzon Borglum, a name most people don’t think about, was known for two things: The sculpting of four presidents on Mount Rushmore, and also for seeing beyond the moment. When Borglum died in March 1941, his dream of the world's biggest sculpture was almost realized. His son Lincoln finished the work that October, some 14 years after it was begun. It took one person to see beyond today, and two generations to complete it. His cause was greater than himself.
Another point to be made about having a cause is that nothing can really dissuade you when you have one. David’s brothers tried to drag him down to default mode by confusing his occupation with his cause. They tried to make him understand that his business was only to keep sheep.
Having a cause will also take you beyond fear, doubt, and pettiness. David’s brother tried to sow doubt in his mind by reminding him that he was only a shepherd and should go back to his neglected sheep. People will try to discourage you from your cause and remind you of what are about (default job). Pettiness says that the small things are the big thing. A cause says there are giants intimidating the land and you worry about the small things?
A London Newspaper had this story. The Sunday times in Brittan had an article titled: Petty Squabbles Cause Empty Pews . Most churchgoers who abandon their weekly worship do so because they have had a dispute with a fellow member of the congregation. A disagreement on a range of issues, from the way the organ is played to the content of the sermon, was the reason that nearly three quarters of respondents to a survey gave for why they felt people had left the Church.
It’s a sad thing to turn life’s petty thing into a Cause.
It’s never too late to know your cause. Remember Moses was 80 when we realized his cause - to deliver Israel from Egypt.
May God reveal to you your cause!