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There has been this fear creeping in over the last few years. To try to put it into words, it’s the fear of living an insignificant life mixed in with having life pass by without enjoying it.
I realize we are not going to enjoy every minute of every day, bathrooms need to be cleaned and taxes need to be paid (cleaning and numbers are not my thing), but overall I hope to live in the moment and be fully immersed in my life.
But it goes beyond that too, I don’t want to just enjoy my life, and have it be all about me and what I want, I want to live my life for others and ultimately to live my life for God.
I came across this quote somewhere online the other day and I saved it because I feel like this is almost exactly the opposite of what I want:
Not that I really want drama, conflict and stress, but I don’t want to avoid them either because I know that fighting for the things I believe in is more important than comfort.
Lately I’ve been noticing so many older people who are just waiting to die. Okay, maybe that sounds a bit harsh and morbid but that’s how it looks to me. The kids and I have been listening to a number of Christian Heroes biographies over lunch lately and I’ve been so inspired. I would rather die young-ish doing something I believe in than living till I’m old because I’ve had no purpose except to serve myself all my life.
COMFORT IS NOT MY GOAL
Comfort is not my goal in this life. Although, if I am being honest, there are times where I wish it was. There are times I wish I was okay with my husband punching the clock, and times I wish I could go on a huge shopping spree and buy all the clothes I want without worrying about the budget and there are times I wish I didn’t want to downsize but could be comfortable living in a huge house with all the fixings (whatever those are), there are even times I wish I was pro-private or public schooling (*gasp*)!
I live in a community where comfort is the goal. Everyone is buying big expensive toys (boats, motorbikes, RV’s, etc) and filling their homes and garages with so much stuff they have to park both of their brand new vehicles and their boats outside.
There is a small part of me that wishes I could want that. I think it is because it would be easy. Easy to go with the flow and want more, more, more. Easy to not explain our lifestyle choices. Easy to just not care.
But unfortunately/ultimately fortunately, I do care.
One of the few things I want more of is less.
OTHER POSTS YOU MAY ENJOY:
- Things I No Longer Buy – Resulting in Cheaper, Greener Living
- Being a Better, More Intentional Friend
I am not writing this post as one who has it all together. To be honest, the last week I’ve felt overly burdened by the fact that I wish comfort was my goal. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself on the days where swimming upstream is difficult and I’m sharing this post for you to read on those days too.
HOW TO LIVE A LIFE OF PURPOSE AND LEAVE A LEGACY YOU ARE PROUD OF
KNOW YOUR GOAL(S)
I’ll admit, I love me some goals. The broad goal of living a purposeful life and leaving a legacy behind is a good starting point but is a bit vague. I’m not going to say you need to start setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable . . . I forget the rest), but something a little less general would be good.
If you want to live a life of purpose first you need to know what that purpose is!
As a follower of Christ I have some pre-determined purposes laid out for me: 1) to love God & 2) to love others. As someone who is perfectly fine not socializing and quite good at being selfish those are actually two pretty difficult purposes.
As a part of God’s purpose for my life is also spreading His Love and Word to the world. For some people this involves going door to door passing out pamphlets, for some it’s standing on a street corner talking to anyone who will listen, for me, in this season, it has looked more like getting to know and be available to my neighbors.
I really appreciate authenticity, if you want to live a life of purpose I think this is a vital component. We have all been created so differently and that is a good thing! Don’t pretend to be someone you are not and don’t strive for a purpose that is not yours.
FIND A PASSION
It is great to leave a legacy behind that one’s children will remember but I like to dream even bigger. Finding a cause to get passionate about and fight for is something I love to do. My passion used to be very strongly advocating and caring for orphans and while that is still a spark it is not the passionate fire it used to be. I’m currently working on finding out what cause I’m going to get involved in next.
CARE FOR OTHERS
Living a life of purpose and leaving a legacy means you need to care for others in some way, chances are this is probably tied in with your passion.
We are all naturally selfish and truly loving and caring for others is one way to set ourselves apart.
Sometimes living a life of purpose means unplugging. This can take many forms and be for many reasons but so often the online world can be a distraction when we really need to put it away and enjoy the moment or take time to pause and pray.
CHOOSE TO SWIM UPSTREAM
Chances are, if you are choosing to live a life with purpose instead of a life of comfort you will be swimming against the current of mainstream society. It takes a lot of effort so you need to know you are committed but it is actually worth it.
SEE ROAD BLOCKS AS AN ADVENTURE OR A RE-ROUTE TO SOMETHING BETTER
Ugh, road blocks. Often they aren’t fun in the moment, but as I look back on them I am realizing how they often were the biggest adventures or the times of biggest growth so now I am trying to do my best to recognize that in the moment.
When I was living in England as an au pair I went up to Scotland with another au pair for the weekend and we missed our flight back, it was so annoying but we ended up taking a bus all the way from Edinburgh to the south coast of England, that’s a trip I wouldn’t have taken otherwise!
When we were in the adoption process we hit road block after road block, but you know, if our first, or second, or third plan would have worked out we never would have been gifted with the amazing boy that we have today. We usually can’t see how good road blocks can be for us.
More stuff means more to clean, more time spent, more money spend. More commitments means less time to do the things you need to do to live a life of purpose.
Choosing less actually means choosing more. When you choose less you choose more money to use as you wish, more time, more space, more life.
I know it doesn’t seem mathematically possible but less>more.
I’d love to hear from you, how do you live a life of purpose?
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