Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Finding Purpose

Have you ever thought about how life unfolds?

I am reading "have a little faith" by Mitch Albom. It is a tender story, unfolding over several years, of an old rabbi and an old preacher. It is told throw Mitch's encounters of their history. One of the things that keeps standing out to me is how much faith does play a part in our life and how life unfolds in many ways.

I've always been taught to believe in divine direction. I know that God has a purpose for me. That is something daddy always told me. I remember in dismay saying to him, about twenty years ago, "well, I wish God would hurry up and tell me because I am tired of waiting." He and I were sitting in Jiffy Lube in Jefferson City getting my car serviced before my then two sons and I drove back to Chicago. I was twenty-six and by some standards, old. It is funny to me now when a lot of young women haven't even had children by this age now.

My daddy was trying to encourage me to keep motivated, to keep going, to stay strong. I was divorced and the mother of two young sons trying to make it in Chicago without support, without child support, and without relief. I came home to my daddy for a break, a respite. Then he told me those words, that there is something God wanted me to do. I responded in what I hear now as anger and dismay.

In reading the book and in reflecting on my eldest son's short life this weekend, I pondered purpose. I do believe we are all divinely created for something to give back to the world. We can not take our possessions with us and contrary to the bumper sticker, the one with the most toys does not win. The journey of life sometimes leads people to know immediately what they are supposed to do. I admire those people. My second son is such a person and so is my third son. These were the two little ones with me when daddy pronounced my purpose still unfinished.

My life's spiral has taken me on many different journeys. I have been writing it down, like a memoir, and as I take the walk down the path of yesterday, many purposes have jumped out at me. I have six children. I have my education. I have worked with people. I have read books. I have written poetry, essays, and short-stories. I have loved and lost and felt and hurt and laughed. I have lived. Is this my purpose?

I believe it is not something that can be found in a commercial book, despite the success of Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life." Perhaps it is that we want to be remembered and to leave an impact for future generations. To create and generate and innovate.

The reason for my existence, for our existence is to live and love. Biblical scholars may say it is to love God and love our neighbors. I believe that is true in any of the major religions. I also believe it is to help each other.

God did not create us in a vacuum, we are created to be relational, to be a part of each other. And in that is where faith and purpose and destiny can be found.

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