Living the Purpose-Driven Life

Reflections on a life driven by purpose


This post is inspired by Rick Warren's bookseller The Purpose-Driven Life, a book that some years back, got me into a serious re-think of living a purpose-driven life. Since then I've not only re-read it, I've also used The Purpose Driven Life Journal to record significant life lessons. I've also gifted some friends a copy of the journal. Yes, the best way to reinforce our progress in fulfilling God's purpose/s for our life is to keep a spiritual journal.

Purpose

Everything has a reason to be. Ecclesiastes. God created us for a purpose. It is our choice whether to follow this through or not. Things happen for a reason, but sometimes for whatever reason, many people just drift in life with no set purpose or direction. We often hear that these people do not live – they just exist. 

Why is it important to have a purpose? In perspective, the presence of a purpose helps us plan things better, makes life meaningful, keeps ‘hope’ high, provide tremendous self-fulfillment once goals are achieved, poses a challenge when they are not met.

What does having a purpose achieve? 

1. Helps in planning

If there is a purpose, we can think profoundly with the goal in sight. We are encouraged to think of what steps to take and alternatives to those steps. We think of the pros and cons of each alternatives and eventually reach a decision by choosing the best options for that stage. Best ways can be decided based on current situation we are in – physically, financially and emotionally. At the end, we are equipped with a Plan A as well as a Plan B just in case Plan A doesn’t work out due to unforseen circumstances.

2. Makes life meaningful

Having a purpose provides us meaning in life. It helps realize the reason for being. It helps us gain a broader perspective, understanding why things work out the way they do. When life is meaningful, we find ourselves in high spirits. Our relationships become smoother, easier, relaxed and positive. However, we should also ensure not to lose that broad perspective and become so tunnel-visioned with our goal lest we overlook that attainment of that goal could also depend on surrounding factors or circumstances.

3. Keeps maintain our hopes high

When there is a purpose, we know where we are going and what we are doing, we maintain that level of high spirits and keep our hopes high. And when it is, we are encouraged to keep going until we attain the small goals along the way... that of reaching the ultimate goal.

4. Achieves self-fulfillment.

‘Oh! What a feeling!’ as we say with gusto when we achieve our dreams, our goal. With every achievement comes a series of strategies and attempts to achieve other goals often with as much determination as the first. Creating a purpose and planning the accompanying action, if done frequently, becomes a habit. A habit that will affect how we go through the rest of our lives.

The Challenge. The Choice is always ours. When we fail to achieve our goal, we either give up or try again. In the process of trying again, this time we set Plan B into motion or do a complete overhaul of our strategies. Timely for the new year.

*****

Further reflections on God's plan and purpose for us.  While writing this post, I'm reminded of a song I learned in my Sunday School as a child. It says: "Trust and obey, for there's no other way. To be happy in Jesus, is to trust and obey." Come to think of it, as an adult, I still sing it occasionally.
An anonymous Christian writer wrote,

"Life's a sort of patchwork quite haphazard in design,
with odd-shaped, jigsaw sections, not easy to define.
But view it from a distant height -
you'll see the pieces match all right!"


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