11 October 2013

Finding My Purpose

"Ah … ! What’s happening?
Er, excuse me, who am I?
Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?
What do I mean by who am I?"

- the thoughts of the 'innocent sperm whale' from The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.

I'm coming to the end of the book 'The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?' by Rick Warren - and have come up to the part where it asks you to define your purpose in life, to write it down to ensure you can retain your focus. Thinking about what to write has been at the back of my mind for a couple of days now - although it seems to be mixed up with a few other things - particularly the quotation about the whale from the Guide (my mind can be a strange and chaotic mixture of wisdom, stray thoughts and ephemera)...

In an effort to pin things down a little, I've been surfing the net to obtain additional background information on 'purpose'. Here's a few quotations that I'm mulling over today...

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better. " ― Robert F. Kennedy

"Remember that our Heavenly Father knows us perfectly and knows what's best for us .... Surely, His knowledge is greater than ours. We just have to have faith in Him. If we don't, well, that doesn't change what happened, it just makes us more miserable because we refuse to trust His will. Our Heavenly Father wants us to have joy. And happiness. But we need to look for those opportunities that give us joy. If we don't, what would be the purpose for existing?" ― Jeri Gilchrist

There's also something in the back of my mind which seems to be relevant to today's blog entry. Somehow. These are words from a worship song called 'The Power of Your Love' (by Hillsong). The words simply won't go away today. It's linked to this topic. The lyrics say:

"Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side.
And as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love

There's something inside me, so vital, so desperate to be heard, nagging away, insistent that I get ready to spread my wings; encouraging me to fly. Not just to plummet helplessly, like our friend the whale. To soar, unfettered, on the currents of air. This persistent prompting encourages me not to give up, to keep on trying. To that end, here's a smattering of quotations about flying - including another quote from Douglas Adams!

"If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly." ― Steve Maraboli

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci

"There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. … Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties." - Douglas Adams

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