So, I took a bit more than a week off from writing, partly because I was in a location that had no internet for several days, but partly to re-evaluate some things.
Here is a big-time question – to which I would love responses if you choose to do so …
What would you say your daily purpose in life is?
If you are familiar with John Eldredge, he and his folks at Ransomed Heart know their reason for existence: They are seeking to help folks live freely in their relationships with God. They want people to see the Larger Story, and then live from that space – no guilt, no coercion, just love of God, reflected in an expansive and attractive and integrated life.
Seth Godin – everything he seems to say has to do with creating a tribe (a following of like-minded individuals) and shipping something to that group (a product, a message, etc). While he may be more than this, all his writing and speaking can be traced back to these ideas. His tag line on his web page is "Make Something Happen – GO."
Dave Ramsey is all about living financially responsible and free.
These guys all know what they do and why.
I recently became acquainted with blogger Jeff Goins. In one of his posts, he was talking about what makes a Great Story. He concluded that your story had to be, at some level, about someone other than yourself or pursuit of your comfort, lifestyle, ambitions, etc.
As I am precisely in mid-life, the question of purpose is looming large. And, I totally get that it has to be about someone else. Yet, I think the thing I am wrestling with is "how much is enough?"
And, furthermore, WHO is to be the recipient of my "other-focused" energy?
As a mom, who is transitioning from kids at home to kids in college, I am asking this question probably 4 or 5 times a day.
The thing that is interesting to me, is that for 26 years, I have been involved in mentoring young people 10-20 hours a week. For a long time, I have been helping people in a counseling / therapy format 10-15 hours along with the student involvement. So for almost my entire adult life, I have been "helping" other people for large chunks of my waking hours. Yet for some strange reason, it doesn't feel like it counts.
I am wrestling with this notion that unless the recipients are desperate – either terribly poor or immensely handicapped or living in disease-ridden, third-world-ish conditions – it isn't really "helping."
I know something is "messed up" inside my head, and I'm working on it.
I would really like to hear from you guys – why do you do what you do? what is your purpose for being on this planet and how do you integrate that into your daily / hourly life?