It’s fantastic to know your purpose. What’s even better is the ability to fulfill that purpose. It means you are engaged and willingly participating in life.
I’ve spoken with several people lately who have said they have no motivation, are dealing with constant fatigue and not feeling well. A similar theme rings true in each of their lives: they say, and even believe, they have no purpose. Life has become a chore, rather than a deliberate choice that fulfills them.
There is a difference between chores and deliberate choices. Chores come from obligation. Deliberate choices, though they often come with labor, also have rewards. These rewards might come in the form of a paycheck, feeling good about community service, or helping someone in need. At the end of the day, something is accomplished and with it comes a sense of purpose.
My mom, in her late sixties through early seventies, helped at a local mission. It was hot and dusty. She developed a nagging cough and often didn’t feel well when she got home. Despite this, she faithfully gave of her time and felt good about her role in helping at this mission. Though the labor was hard on her aging body, it was not a chore. It was a reason to get out of the house, along with helping others and contributing to society. She thrived on having a purpose.
Due to a few unfortunate events, my mom was no longer able to spend her time at the mission. The result was devastating. Depression overtook her. Lethargy and hopelessness became battles she could no longer fight. We encouraged her to find something else, but she couldn’t bring herself to do so. In her mind, she lost her purpose and a reason to keep living. Within the space of six months, she passed away.
Living without hope or resolve is like a poison eating away at the soul. This often contributes to health issues, both physical and emotional. On the flip side, health issues can also push people to a state of hopelessness. There are times when an illness becomes someone’s reality, that willpower to move forward diminishes and life becomes a constant struggle. Unfortunately, you don’t have to be old to relate.
It’s of utmost importance that we keep ourselves active and look for opportunities that bring meaning to our lives. Whether it is by helping others or doing something creative, our focus should be outward. I have some older friends that are always doing things for others and looking for occasions to be a light. Most recently, they started attending a drawing class at a local college. This is something they’ve never done before, but they believe you’re never too old to learn a new skill. It also gives them an opportunity to meet new people and develop new friendships. Because they live life on purpose, their health issues (a reality of aging), haven’t stopped them.
Col 3: 23-24 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
I encourage those of you who are struggling to find a purpose, to look beyond this very moment. If you need to, start small and read a good book or take a walk. Send a note to a friend. Do something, anything, to shake off the weariness. Then, open your eyes to all the possibilities that still remain within your sphere of influence.
We only get one shot at life. Let’s live it to the fullest and at the end of our days be able to say that we ran our race well. It’s a race worth running and a fight worth winning!
Arleen Jennings is the author of,
Their lives were all but destroyed . . .
Her paintings are about to change everything.