What do you live for?
It’s a simple question. But it’s one of the most difficult to answer.
From my experience, many of us find meaning but few have purpose.
Purpose is the belief or reason we have for living. It’s different from meaning. Meaning is about the significance or feeling of significance for something or someone or belief.
For example, a purpose could be someone living to care for their family. Their meaning is sensed when they are able to help a sibling, daughter, or parent.
Usually I hear and read more about meaning but not so much purpose. But the latter gets down to the roots, into the guts of life, into our souls. It’s the foundation upon which we all stand.
Purpose is the reason for our existence.
What is more important than that?
And if we leave it undefined, we are setting ourselves on shaky ground.
In college, this question haunted me. I had no idea what my purpose was. And living without one caused me to fall into a depression. Motivation was wrested from me and all I wanted to do was watch Disney movies in my dorm room (which I did: there’s nothing like a college guy watching Little Mermaid on a Saturday night, alone in his room, crying and singing along with Ariel).
I was lonely, angsty, and angry. All my life I had dealt with the trauma of my dad’s death and other difficulties in my life.
And I felt rootless, restless (and sang Disney songs).
Soon thereafter, I became a Christian. Jesus became my purpose, my reason for living. And that belief has sustained me, and still does.
Now, I know that not all of you believe as I do. And my point isn’t to bludgeon you with my beliefs but to press you to consider your own purpose.
I think that many of us can go all our lives without knowing what we’re really living for.
And that robs us. It makes life emptier, less fulfilling. And I don’t want that for you. I know what it feels like.
But that needn’t be the case. There is purpose in the world for you.
Seek it. It’s there.