Purpose verus being Alive

Our purpose, my purpose, your purpose … there’s been a lot of 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 (along with others) get bogged down on, 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 though, I realize I have been trying to find my purpose by going the wrong way down a one way street. I 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. As said 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.”

So, the focus shifts from finding my purpose (heavy and somber) to living life fully alive (energy and fun). I need to know me, to know what brings me satisfaction, 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. To fully understand what makes me feel satisfied and alive I also need to give myself time to reflect on life. 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

Sleeping in might feel good at the moment, but in the long run 20 minutes of exercise feels much better, so when I look at what makes me feel alive, I need to look beyond temporary pleasures. Each and every one of us looks and is different, and what makes us feel alive will also be as varied as the hues of color in the sky. The one area that is consistant with each of us is that to feel fully alive we need to “do to others what you would have them do to you” – Jesus

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