Purpose versus Being Alive

Our purpose, my purpose, your purpose … there has been many conversations about purpose over the past few years. For the most part, they have been good conversations; they have helped me look beyond myself and beyond today. I find comfort in the fact that my life has meaning, that there is a design and a plan for this crazy, messy life. The part I can get bogged down in, is finding that purpose. For sometime, I was looking for a magic formula, or a certain event, person or cause that would yell ‘purpose’ to me. Lately, I realize I have been trying to find my purpose by going the wrong way down a one-way street.

I started looking at it differently after reading this quote by theologian Howard Thurman … “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” I had thought when I find my purpose then I would really come alive and find fulfillment in life … but instead I need to come alive and then my life will be a life of purpose.

So, the focus shifted from finding my purpose (heavy and somber) to living life fully alive (energy and fun). I need to know me, to know what makes me come alive. I didn’t create myself, but I was created by the One that created all things, so that is the place to start. The maker knows me better than I know myself, so I need to have ongoing conversations with him. I also need to give myself time to reflect on life, to understand fully what makes me be alive. I need to be willing to … Be still and listen deeply for the truth that is carried on its winds – information about the past, wisdom about the present, and direction for the future. – Elizabeth Lesser

Each of us is different and what makes us fully alive will be as varied as the hues of color in the sky. The one area that is consistent with each of us is that to feel fully alive we need to “love the Lord God with all your passion, prayer, intelligence and energy and love others as well as you love yourself.”– Jesus

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