Purpose Versus Being Alive

Our purpose, my purpose, your purpose – there have 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 found comfort in the fact that my life has meaning, that something good can come out of this crazy, messy life. The part I got bogged down on, was 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. A few years ago, I realized I had 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 needed to come alive and then my life became a life of purpose.

So my focus shifted from finding my purpose (heavy and somber) to living life fully alive (energy and fun – yeah!). I learned 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 was the place to start. The maker knows me better than I know myself, so I had ongoing conversations with him and gave myself time to reflect on life, to understand fully what makes me be alive. I was 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. I think, 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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