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