From the Basement

April 16, 2010

Living On Purpose

Filed under: Choices,Faith,Uncategorized — jeannablue @ 2:34 am
Tags: , ,

I recently met up with a friend who chose a very different route in life than I did. When we were 18 years old, I went off to college, eager for independence. She got married and prepared to start a family. Four years later, we found ourselves laughing in a coffeeshop. She congratulated me on the end of my college career while she rocked the baby, and I shared part of my doughnut with her two-year-old.

It’s interesting to stop and take stock of where life takes us. I’ve been listening to a relationship series by Pastor Danny Silk (hence the quote in the last post), and he talks about how couples should move with purpose, with vision – that the problem with so many couples is that they outlast their destiny.

This question of destiny applies to individuals as well as couples. Are we moving in a direction with a decided heart? Is there a purpose driving us through life? Or are we just hopping from lily pad to lily pad, following a traditional path – college –> job –> marriage –> kids –> … then what?

It reminds me of a description I once read in a book about hustling pool. The author, Jennifer Crusie, talked about how some players could see nothing more than the ball that was in front of them, whereas a strategic player would position themselves based on where they wanted to be. They played based on the unseen rather than the seen, their envisioned outcome rather than the current reality. It comes as no surprise that the players with long-range vision hustle those without vision.

I don’t want to go through life reacting to the ball that’s in front of me, focusing on the current play rather than the game. While it’s true that you can make a car trip with your lights guiding you five feet at a time, what is it that gives you the motivation to keep driving? The knowledge of a destination. That sense of purpose makes all the difference in the world.

Sometimes, what you envision doesn’t work out the way you planned. But the thing is that it’s just one play in the game that is your life. The play didn’t work out, but the game’s still yours. Right now, in that place of “now what?”, I’m discovering a freedom I never thought possible. I’m asking questions I never asked before, trusting that even when I think the car is stalled, something is happening.

My friend is driving on the road she’s chosen – her girls are growing up in front of her every single day. Interestingly enough, she says that she still occasionally wonders, “What if I’d done it differently? How would my life look?” Some people can get stuck in that spiral for years, but the question in itself isn’t harmful. In fact, it can be useful. My friend asks this question and ultimately feels content with her life, grateful for the decisions she’s made and how they’ve led her to her lifelong dream.

While I’m not a proponent of living in fear or anticipation of the future, I don’t think it hurts to take a moment, slow down, and think about how our current actions are affecting the game. Are we playing to win, or are we just biding time, hoping that it ends before we get too hurt?

Are we living on purpose?

My friend and I are about as different as they come in regards to temperament and life choices. We’d both be miserable doing what the other is doing. But we want to encourage the other as they pursue their purpose, as they live out their vision. We were uniquely created by our awesome Creator for a purpose, and we both know that His plans are too big to shoehorn into a traditional “life path.” He’s got some awesome roads for every single one of us. Me. Her. And you.


  1. Awesome entry, I’m really enjoying following this!

    Comment by Aaron — April 16, 2010 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  2. YES! This is so true! At first I wasn’t sure I agreed with what you were saying because sometimes we can get overwhelmed trying to focus on our future and so we miss what’s happening right in front of us. But then I realized that you were not saying that at all. Instead we have to remember that every action is a choice and that we better make sure that decision is leading us toward the purpose HE has planned for us (whether we know what that is or not). That’s what I’m learning right now. Trust and Patience. Thank you dear!

    Comment by Kayla — April 16, 2010 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

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