In a previous essay I spent some time with the subject of the purpose of our being. I turned to the book by Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, to pull out some ideas on that subject. But once we determine what our purpose is we also have to determine what it is that motivates our life.
Rick Warren suggests several things that motivate us and the first one is that we are motivated by guilt. We spend our lives running away from things like regret and bad memories and sometimes it paralyzes us from moving forward. Perhaps we have made some mistakes in the past and so it makes us afraid to try again. Rather than taking charge of our future we are controlled by our past. I see this in the work of the Church. We cling to tradition but sometimes tradition can be a drag on us moving forward.
Feelings of guilt about our past can lead us to feelings of anger maybe about our past but also about our future. Perhaps we recognize that our past is holding us back but we are not sure how to make it right so we get angry about it. I have learned over the years that anger only hurts us and if we can learn to control our anger then we can move forward.
But putting a positive spin on things we see that if we know our purpose it will give us meaning to our life. As I mentioned in the previous essay we all have a purpose and we have to find that. As a pastor it is part of my role to help people discover what that purpose is, to help people find and live to their potential. The role of the Church and of the spiritual father is to equip the saints if you will, for their lives and then to help them to live it.
If we know our purpose it can really simplify things in our lives. I am preparing for a trip to Nova Scotia. I know the destination and now I have to plan how I am going to get there. I could just head north and hope for the best, but it will be much simpler to have a plan. It saves a lot of wandering and getting lost. Our lives are the same way. Once we discover our purpose then we have to chart the course of how we are going to get there and that is where the spiritual father or mother can help.
Along with the simplification of our lives once we know our purpose it also helps the focus. For many of the same reasons as simplification, our focus moves from a shot gun approach sort of all over the place to more of a laser beam focus on things. No longer will we be distracted by the things that come along. We can deal with them and move on to what is important.
The important thing to remember is that we cannot go it alone we need a trusted friend or a spiritual guide to help us along this path. We can get lost in our own stuff and maybe not be able to see clearly to find the way out or to find that laser beam focus that we need. The first step comes with the realization that we want to find that purpose, that our lives have been direction less or maybe we feel stuck in what we are doing and want to make a move. It starts with prayer and listening to God and the purpose will become clear.