Finding Purpose in My Life -You Must be Joking- I am Way Too Busy!
We were put on this earth at this time for a purpose designed by God. Whether or not we live out that purpose is up to us.
Sometimes our purpose seems obvious: to develop a new vaccine; to raise a disabled child; to help the poor; to finance the mission field; to create art, music, sculpture; to build roads, schools, cities; to colonize new territories, even new planets; to teach, to preach, or to model cultural and spiritual values.
Sometimes our purpose is not obvious at all.We can not see a clear or meaningful purpose for our lives for all the difficulties, burdens and losses we seem to experience on a day by day basis. We do not have enough of the right education. We don’t have enough money. We have a family that takes all our time, energy, money and patience. We have no interest in either far away people or pioneering causes.
“Find purpose in my life? You must be joking! I haven’t got time for my life as it is”
Sometimes it hurts just getting out of bed in the morning. And trying to sleep at night can verge on mania as we replay life’s angers, resentments, problems, fears and longings. Sometimes our burdens seem so heavy and never-ending. If we could just get some relief from the constant pain of them. If we could just stop the treadmill, the merry-go-round, the deadening repetition of the thankless yet demanding duties we must perform, maybe then we could see a purpose to our lives.
I’m So Bored
At other times our life seems so boring, so hum-drum, so uneventful and sometimes so useless that we end up just ‘going through the motions’. We can’t see a purpose to our lives and we can’t motivate ourselves to even try to find one.
I Don’t Have Enough
When we do not seem to have what we want or what we believe we need to make something of ourselves and our life, we may think, “What’s the use?” “Why bother?” We believe that before we can get ourselves to a place where we can relax from the ‘rat race’ and focus on profound things like ‘a life’s purpose’, we need something else: more money, more education, better health, a bigger home, a better car, and certainly more free time.
Getting what we think we need before we can even think of finding real meaning in our life seems like just so much effort. So, we just give up. And we rationalize why we can not have, be, or do what we think we must have, be or do in order to even start to find real meaning in life.
Why Can’t I Have What I See Others Have
This rationalization, though convenient to justify taking no action, is a poisonous form of self deceit. And this rationalization is very difficult to maintain. It hurts to think about what we don’t have or why we can’t get it. It hurts to feel overburdened yet longing for the freedom to pursue our dreams. And it hurts our character to feel jealousy at seeing others having what we want so badly. We may even sink so low as to steal or cheat to have what we think we need to lead a purposeful life.
I’m Not Worthy
When we don’t have what we want, yet see others enjoying these things we may feel we are not worthy, not good enough or it’s our fate to not have what we believe we need in order to get to the point of self actualization. If our desire to find purpose in our life is strong but we feel frustrated and disillusioned at every turn, we may resort to using all kinds of magic potions and panacea in order to ‘hold on’, to get through the night or get through the day. And we slip into a routine of restless sleep at night and drifting numbness by day without ever having those things we long for.
Finding purpose in life can mean major changes
The Fear of Finding a Purpose to Our Life
Finding meaning and purpose in life probably involves considerable change and new pain and suffering. Or, so we believe. It can also mean making great sacrifices of material things and personal relationships.
It might mean giving up the hurts and pains we are familiar with for what we are not familiar with and probably won’t be able to bear: new hurts, new pains, new angers and resentments, new challenges and maybe even higher hurdles to climb. Better the ‘devil we know than the devil we don’t know’.
And if it’s a God-given purpose that we believe we need in our life, it might mean going to a really poor country troubled by war. We may find ourselves in the back of beyond, living in a mud hut, eating strange food (if there is much food at all), tormented by flies and mosquitoes, or worse. And it will almost assuredly mean meeting new people, maybe hostile people, maybe sick and dying people. Having to learn to help them, to really give to them of our time, our courage, and our hope. And, hardest of all, to love them – all the time, not just when it’s convenient.
Finding Purpose Requires a Paradigm Shift
The thought of taking on a new or different purpose can be daunting to say the least. Finding purpose in our life, a God-given purpose, can require a willingness to stop directing all our thoughts and feelings inward. “What do I want?” “What will satisfy me?” “What purpose in life will really give meaning to my life?” “What purpose in life will make me feel whole and complete, especially in the latter part of my life.” “What purpose in life will make me feel respected; will really be the ‘capstone’ to my life?”
Instead of thinking strictly along these rather self-centered lines try looking outwards and seeing what you night be able to do right now. Don’t worry if you are not feeling well or happy right this minute, go out (of yourself) and see what someone else may need. You may be surprised to learn that what someone else needs right now may be exactly what you have to give: a smile, a warm word, something you have two or three of and no longer need. Just be open to others and enjoy what opens up for you.
God Works Through His People
If we are a child of God we will have a strong desire to learn and practice leading a life pleasing to God. If we keep reading His Word (the Bible) we can begin to learn what our purpose in life may be. God will put many opportunities to help others, right in front of us. Pick up the phone and call someone, knock on a door and talk to someone, smile to a neighbor, hug your spouse, help a senior do something. In this way you may find an extremely satisfying purpose in your life—a God-given Purpose.
Why Go On?
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2011-2013; © Maralexa, Marilyn Alexander, MBA. All rights reserved.