The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder—a waif, a nothing, a no man. –Thomas Carlyle
If you want your life to have impact, focus it!
Walt Whitman in his poem, A Song Of The Open Road, wrote: “I am in step with my vision, as I tramp my perpetual journey.” Travelling by foot across 7 continents, the Walk of the Hawk is one man’s purpose. http://www.hawkwalk.com/index.html
Everyone’s life is driven by something—5 most common:
- Driven by Guilt: Allowing past to control the future. God’s purpose isn’t limited by our past, He gives us a fresh start. “What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! What relief for those who have confessed their sins & God has cleared their record.”
- Driven by resentment & anger: Whoever has offended you has forgotten & gone on with his life. So forgive & release the pain.
- Driven by fear: A self-imposed prison keeping us from what God intended us to be.
- Driven by materialism: Provides a temporary security. Real security can only be found in that which can’t be taken away from you–your relationship w/God.
- Driven by need for approval: Other’s expectations control our lives. This is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for our life. Many of us are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Ah, this one describes me to a t!
All lead to unused potential, stress & an unfulfilled life.
Benefits of knowing your purpose:
- gives meaning to your life: then you can bear anything
- gives hope—cancer patients w/a sense of life purpose, were the ones most likely to survive
- simplifies your life: Determine which activities are essential by asking “Does this activity help me fulfill one of God’s purposes for my life?”
- focuses your life: concentrating effort & energy by being selective. Never confuse activity w/productivity.
- motivates your life: produces passion & energizes.
“This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments & grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy”—George Bernard Shaw
- prepares you for eternity: We want to create a lasting legacy on earth, forgetting that all achievements/tributes/records are eventually surpassed, forgotten.
Before we enter eternity God will ask us 2 questions:
What did we do w/his son, Jesus Christ? Did we accept what Jesus did for us, learning to love & trust him.
What did we do with what he gave us? Did we spend all the gifts/talents/opportunities/resources God gave us on ourselves, or use them for the purposes God made us for?
Question to Consider: What is the driving force in your life? What do you want it to be? What would family & friends say is the driving force of your life?
I want to pull my children & myself away from the mentality of “what’s in it for me” and direct our thinking into giving into the world. From something as simple as expressing verbally gratitude & value for others—we’ve stopped being polite, thanking enough. We feel, but don’t say; say, I love my child, spouse, parent. Children will only do what they see. Williamson states: “Loving fully is an empowered person”. To show my sons, and show myself that we must always strive towards a better self. We are all capable of achieving so much in this world, but fall short.
Williamson in A Course in Miracles says to ask these questions of ourselves: How forgiving are we, proactively helpful to others, nonjudgemental, non-controlling, honest, impeccable, how much do we rise up to excellence?
* Weekly we will be writing about what inspires us from each consecutive chapter of Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. If you read along with us, plse share your inspirations. There’s no need to catch up, just jump right in.