“So what are we doing here? Why are we here? What is our purpose in life? Is there a purpose, or are we all just floundering around trying to make our own way in this world? What is our destiny? Do we have one? Why do we so often find that we are working hard at achieving something out of life, only to reach a goal and feel less fulfilled than we expected to feel once we achieve it? You might be focused on your career. You’ve done the years in university to pursue a path in life you thought you were passionate about only to find yourself working in a field completely separate from your original intention. How did that happen? Or maybe you ARE working in your field of expertise and you are climbing the corporate ladder hoping to get ahead, or get a bigger raise, to buy a bigger house, or another new luxury car… you may be working toward retirement, putting everything you earn into savings, so you can live easy when you retire. Maybe your hope is in romance. Find the right guy, live happily ever after, right? But what happens when you reach those goals and you become disenchanted? You work hard so you can provide the best conveniences for your family, only to find that you never have time to spend with them. Suddenly your kids are grown and moved away and you wonder how you missed out on all those years. Maybe you’ve saved your fortune for your retirement years, but now you’re there, and find you’re too sick, or too frail to do all the things you promised yourself you would ‘do later’ and later never came, and now it feels like it’s too late. What happens after the honeymoon when the real work of marriage settles in and ‘happily ever after’ is a lot harder to maintain than in the fairy tales? How quickly we get pulled into the dreams and goals our culture tells us we should pursue. “Do this, and you will find happiness.” “Follow this path and you will find success, and finally feel like you are ‘good enough’ or ‘important enough’, or better than someone else.” “Entertainment, and leisure – these are the things you want.” “This is what life is about.” But these messages are subtle. They are never so bold, but they do lure us into living a life that is less than what was originally intended. And they are good slave drivers too. They suck us in so well, that we hardly realize we ‘bought into’ the idea of success, or romance as the be all and end all of life as it was meant to be. It is only when we reach the place of disenchantment with these lesser loves, the ‘fillers’ that consume our time and attention, that we begin to ask the questions again: why am I here? What is my purpose in life? Where do I find meaning in my life? What am I meant to do? Where is the love I’ve been searching for my whole life that mysteriously keeps eluding me? It is only then when our soul’s deepest needs and desires resurface pointing us in a direction to search out a better way, to find a more substantial meaning or purpose to our otherwise meaningless life.

“Each one of us hides an awful secret. Buried deep within every human soul throbs a muted pain that never goes away. It is a lifelong yearning for that one love that will never be found, the languishing in our inner selves for an all-consuming intensity of intimacy that we know will never be fulfilled, a heart-need to surrender all that we are to a bond that will never fail. The silent churning at the core of our being is the tormenting need to know and to be known, to understand and to be understood, to possess and to be possessed, to belong unconditionally and forever without the fear of loss, betrayal or rejection. It is the nostalgia for our primal oneness, the silent sorrowing for paradise lost, the age-long pursuit after the encompassing embrace for which we were created…it is the distant echo of the wail in the garden at the loss of innocence, of the grieving after a remembrance of shared freedom…the embrace of absolute oneness.” –Gilbert Bilezekian (community 101).

But along with this cry for intimacy and unconditional acceptance, we also feel a need to ‘do’ something with our life, our time, our talents, our energy. We sense somewhere in the deep recesses of our being that we need purpose, direction, meaning, to contribute our strength and initiative to something. Without it, we lack purpose, and where there is no purpose, the people perish. It seems like, in order to feel like our life has been lived ‘fully’, we require meaning, belief in something, to use our reason & imagination, to contribute… we have dreams, and a sense of destiny, ambition, we require hope, and significance, on top of this need to attach and connect and find intimate relationships to enjoy. It’s built in. Without it, we wind up depressed and floundering about life wondering what it’s all about. If we don’t catch this vision, we end up living some kind of sub-existence. We just go about our every day life with a sense of drudgery or dutiful response to whatever we feel is our cruel task master.

This cry within us, this need for meaning, this loss of paradise, where did it originate? Deep inside, we know it is true. Even if we don’t think we remember what paradise was supposed to look like, our heart speaks of it in short whispers in the night… hunger. Ache. Something’s missing. Can I propose a suggestion here, that maybe, just maybe there is more to life than all of this? That there IS a specific design, task, role, purpose, for each of us here on this earth.

What is that design?

“Then God said, “let us make man in our own image, according to our own likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. And God blessed them and said to them, ‘be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over…everything that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28”

The preceding text is from my book “Found Wanting”.

Just some food for thought. What is YOUR purpose? What do you believe our mandate is & responsibility-to each other, to the earth, to the environment, to nature? The animals? What is your calling? What role do you play in a grand narrative? Like a giant puzzle, we each play our part & possess the talents & gifts we do for a reason. Have you thought about that much? I encourage you to spend some time today thinking about what you feel your role or calling, or purpose is in this life. Is it one thing? Are there many roles you play? Think about it! Cheers!

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