Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The question at our core

The question at our core

Looking around my hotel room, I’m suddenly aware of all the concentric circles.

On the ceiling. In the kitchen area. Even in the tub.

Seems like rings within rings are a thing.

A session I captured yesterday started me thinking about circles. In it, the facilitator took a client through a process of getting to their core motivations. Starting with the core WHYs, they filled in the circles, radiating out through the HOWs to the WHATs. The key message is that, ultimately, people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.

Sadly, we don’t often get down to the core WHYs that drive us.

We can see all three rings at play in these two verses from Paul:

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Colossians 1:28–29)

Paul’s WHAT – the work that he carries out – is proclaiming and teaching everyone with wisdom. HOW he does that is pushing through difficulties using the power of God. But the core WHY is that he wants to see everyone stand before God mature in Christ.

In the session yesterday, they pointed out that even when we get down to what we think is the WHY, it may not be the most fundamental driver. So they had the client ask five WHYs. Even with Paul, there are deeper motivations. Why does he want to present everyone mature in Christ? His fundamental goal, we learn from other passages, is to bring glory to God.

It’s good to get wise to our WHYs. I use writing and photography in this blog to share my observations of the Lord present through the world around me. Why? I hope that you’ll do the same. But the deeper why is that I want us all to move into a deeper experience with Jesus.

Why? The inner-most circle should be that his love is unlike any other. I hope that’s my deepest why. It can be hard to see that far into my motivations.

But I know that his love is the most fundamental thing we all long for.

And it’s the power that can and should drive what we do and how we do it.

Jesus, peel back the layers of our motivations so that we can see if you are truly at the core. We so easily deceive ourselves about why we do things. Let all that we do be empowered by your amazing love.


I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And if you liked this, please use the buttons above to share it!

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.

No