What is God’s Purpose for Me?
PJ Bradley: In 8th grade, I played in the orchestra for the first time. I played the baritone horn. I’m in college now, and I’m studying music. Music is exciting. My heart swells with every movement. I love it because there is structure. The instruments, they come together to create something beautiful. Every note, every pause, is there for a reason.
It wasn’t until high school though that I met a real instrument. A tuba maybe? No. A cello? No. I met those instruments long before that. What I met in my senior year of high school was an instrument of God. Her name was Monica and she introduced me to the Church Of Christ. I was drawn in by the beautiful hymn singing and in September of 2018, I was baptized.
Let me tell you, becoming a member of the Church Of Christ was something I wasn’t looking for, but a relationship with God was something I needed. Suddenly it was like I was hearing music all over again, but in the form of psalms, proverbs, prophecies—every worship service lesson adding to the anthem of my faith.
Because of my faith, I found meaning and purpose in the elements of life I had long thought solved. Everything changed. Instead of the goal of simply living to love and to help others, now I, too, could truly be of help to bring others closer to God. And the true purpose of music? Simple: it’s for the glory of God.
But the road isn’t without its bumps. The closer I drew to God, the further my parents pulled away from me. It got to the point where they would even call the minister to ask why, why I was always at the chapel. Perhaps in their perspective, it’s strange. Maybe it’s weird to them that my Church membership is my number one priority. I try my best to be there for them, to be the best son I could be, but I always feel as if I’m falling short because I love being with the brethren and I love being at the house of worship so much. It’s only right that I give first place to God in my heart. But to be honest, I value my work, my school, all of this, and as much as I can admit, even my own parents, I value God more. So to this day, my relationship with my parents remains uneasy, most especially when they heard about my future plans.
The following year after I was baptized, in September of 2019, I was introduced to yet another instrument of God. This time, a minister of the gospel who would forever change my life. During a Church hiking activity, at the summit of a hill, Brother Will pointed out the vast expanse of the Canadian wilderness. He stopped and he asked the group, “Isn’t it beautiful?” He talked about how God’s power can be seen through the things He has made.
I thought about that hike a lot. I thought about the unique gift that ministers have to be able to explain the gospel and the uniqueness of the Church Of Christ that God sent a messenger. And then, something clicked! Suddenly the ministry became a goal, a subject of prayer. First, I asked God, “Please, help me decide!” But then it became, “God, if You’ll help me to understand if You are calling me, and if You are, allow me to answer.” So this year, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life and I submitted my application for the School for Ministry, and I’m now awaiting word from the Church Administration.
I think it’s my turn. I think it’s my turn to be an instrument. I want to help people to realize the beauty of what God has put together for His people, and what awaits His people in heaven. An instrument too, hopefully, to build a bridge to my parents to help them answer the question, “Why do I need a relationship with God?” Even though they may not fully understand, I know they want me to be happy. I feel like it’s a step in the right direction.
For me, my relationship with God is always growing. It’s based on understanding. When I was first baptized, I had a basic understanding of the teachings. But the deeper my understanding goes, the deeper my relationship with God gets. The more I understand, the more it makes sense. Every prophecy, every verse, every letter—it’s there for a reason. Like music, there is order and there is purpose to God’s words and they make something beautiful. God is the ultimate composer.