FAITH & REFLECTION — Purpose (related to but not synonymous with motivation and passion) is defined as “the reason for which something is done.” It is important to have purpose in our lives. Purpose defines our character and refines our activities as it provides direction for our lives. Human beings yearn for purpose in their lives, and without it, may experience psychological problems and even physiological difficulties.
Without purpose, we find ourselves simply taking up space and marking time. I call this the “Oh, what’s the use anyway?!” syndrome. Billy Sunday said, “More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.” Ben Kingsley, speaking of purpose said, “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need…is something to be enthusiastic about.”
As a child, much of life’s purpose was provided for me by my parents. This is one reason that some young adults, following graduation, wander aimlessly for a while. It takes time to transition from having purpose provided for them to discovering their own.
Purpose is important, but it is also powerful. A young lady in Biloxi, Mississippi, feeling that life had no purpose decided to commit suicide by leaping off a bridge. A man, just coming onto the bridge, saw her jump and without hesitation dived in after her. It wasn’t until he was in the water that he remembered he couldn’t swim. He began flailing his arms and screaming for help. The commotion caught the attention of the suicidal lady who swam over and pulled the drowning man safely to shore.
A newspaper reporter later wrote “It wasn’t the man who saved that woman’s life last night; it was purpose. No doubt, the man meant well, but what he provided for her was one moment where life offered meaning: the opportunity to save a man’s life provided her with a clear purpose…”
The big question is, how can you know what your purpose is? Or should be? The first can be ascertained by identifying goals and examining activities. Goals are tools that we use to fulfill our purpose and activities are the things we do to achieve our goals. When I examine my own goals and activities, I can readily identify my purpose as serving God and sharing Christ.
The second part of the question, what should be our purpose? Feel free to adopt mine! It is a good one…Jesus came with purpose and with His finding me and my following Him, I have found purpose. I believe that God must be incorporated at some point to find true purpose, but I can only suggest this, not force it.
I do hope you find something of value in this article…I wrote it on purpose.