Too Little To Live For

As we reflect this new year on what is our calling or passion, we have to ask what is our ‘why’. Our purpose. Our reason to stay where we are, or reason to pursue a specific passion. When I do my new year reflection, I remind myself of this passage from the book ‘The Call’ by Os Guinness:

The Ultimate Why

At some point every one of us confronts the question:  How  do  I  find  and  fulfill  the  central  purpose  of  my  life? Other  questions  may  be  logically  prior  to  and  lie  even  deeper  than this  one — for  example,  Who  am  I?  What  is  the  meaning  of  life  itself?

But  few  questions  are  raised  more  loudly  and  more  insistently  today than  the  first.  As  modern  people  we  are  all  on  a  search  for  significance.  We  desire  to  make  a  difference.  We  long  to  leave  a  legacy.  We yearn,  as  Ralph  Waldo  Emerson  put  it,  “to  leave  the  world  a  bit  better.”  Our  passion  is  to  know  that  we  are  fulfilling  the  purpose  for which we are here  on  earth.

Call  it  the  greatest  good,  the  ultimate  end,  the meaning  of  life,  or  whatever  you  choose.  But  finding  and  fulfilling the  purpose  of  our  lives  comes  up  in  myriad  ways  and  in  all  the  seasons of our lives.

Deep  in  our  hearts,  we  all  want  to  find  and  fulfill  a  purpose  bigger  than  ourselves.  Only  such  a  larger  purpose  can  inspire  us  to  heights we  know  we  could  never  reach  on  our  own.  For  each  of  us  the  real purpose  is  personal  and  passionate:  to  know  what  we  are  here  to  do, and  why. 

Kierkegaard  wrote  in  his  Journal:  “The  thing  is  to  understand  myself,  to  see  what  God  really  wants  me  to  do;  the  thing  is  to find  a  truth  which  is  true  for  me,  to  find  the  idea  for  which  I  can  live and die.”

The  trouble  is  that,  as modern  people,  we  have  too  much  to  live  with  and  too  little  to  live for.

It  argues  that  this  purpose  can  be  found  only  when  we discover  the  specific  purpose  for  which  we  were  created  and  to  which we  are  called.  Answering  the  call  of  our  Creator  is  “the  ultimate why”  for  living,  the  highest  source  of  purpose  in  human  existence. 

What  do  I  mean  by  “calling”?  For  the  moment  let  me  say  simply  that  calling  is  the  truth  that  God  calls  us  to  himself  so  decisively  that everything  we  are,  everything  we  do,  and  everything  we  have  is  invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service.

The passage from the book is from the 2nd paragraph to the last.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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