I nearly scratched this topic off of my list of doable resources for peace and sanity. In fact, I scribbled it out, and then rewrote it, on my list of post topics – I knew I had to write about it. Even if it can’t be dubbed easy, it is doable. And it is important. [At this point, I’m wishing for an easier row to hoe – a funnier and more light-hearted calling. You know, the whole “Make ’em laugh” thing.]
Oh well, since that isn’t going to happen, here goes…
So often, my struggle to accomplish what I know is my responsibility nearly drives me insane. I feel like I’m shoveling sand against the tide – trying to move a mountain with a teaspoon.
Can you relate?
I’ve even been known to stand in the bathroom and give myself a stern talking to. “Pull yourself together, for cryin’ out loud! What is your problem?” And sometimes, my get-up-and-go just gets up and leaves. Adios. So completely out of here.
In all honesty, when I sift down through my issues, it’s not that I’m tired, crabby, hormonal, or even overwhelmed. Most of the time, my “why?” and “how?” are not matching. My tires have sunk down, and I’m just spitting dirt. Going nowhere. (Generally speaking I’ve let myself fall off the wagon – I’ve lost my routine, blown my budget, let dust accumulate on my Bible, and let my eyes wander to my inadequacies. What I truly need to do is hit the restart button. That’s my next post topic, by the way.)
I’ve lived stretches of life going nowhere. It’s depressing to be purposeless, passionless, stuck in survival mode.
Have you ever heard the sayings, “Know what you believe and why you believe it, or you will fall for anything” or “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”?
Our purpose – our “why?”- is the foundation, the navigational tool, and the motor that runs our lives. Without having a clearly thought out and articulated purpose, which we are passionate about, we can easily lose our way or get stuck in the mud of life. But, with a clearly thought out and articulated purpose, we can withstand any force that tries to stop us or deter us. With a clear purpose on which to focus, we can narrow down our how to get there.
Quite honestly, this has been an area of struggle in my life. For many years, I didn’t know what I believed; I wandered aimlessly, struggling to keep my head above water.
I knew that blank-brained, blind obedience and forced faith didn’t sit well with me – I had seen that type of religion abused by “spiritual leaders” far too many times. As a young person, I had walked away from it all. I refused to turn my mind and intellect off in order to have what I had been taught was “faith.”
It was at that point in my life, I began a quest of sorts. I knew that I wasn’t always going to understand, but I wanted to be able to use my mind and have my intellect support my faith. If there was a God out there, then He had to be good, with no dark side – no hypocrisy, no expectations that I would trade in my brain for faith in Him. If He created my intelligence, than He expected me to use it.
I didn’t want religion and passionless performance; I wanted a relationship. I didn’t want my purpose to be forced allegiance or terrified conformity; I wanted to return love for love – a love that made me want to dance with the sheer weightlessness of true freedom.
Then, I was aimless because I was purposeless. Now, I can get stuck if I lose sight of my purpose.
Matthew 22:37 “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind‘.”
So, God wants our minds and hearts to agree that He is who He says He is. We can know that we can believe Him wholeheartedly, because there is evidence that our minds can comprehend.
Our beliefs and our purposes are interlocked – they cannot be separated.
If we believe that we are here by accident, we will live from that belief. If we believe that God has known us from before there was time, we live from that belief. If we believe that we have to gain approval and love from Him, we will live from that belief. If we believe that the Scriptures, which say that nothing can separate us from His love, are true, we will live from that belief.
If we know and understand what He went through for us, we will never live with a banner of cheap grace waving above our lives.
This is why our world view is so dang important!
It took me a long time to realize that my purpose and passion in life was locked away in a closet of pain. It was only when I gained the courage to unlock and open that closet that I realized that the pain had morphed into a gift.
Many times (I would even dare to say most of the time), our “why?” is born from a place of pain that we ourselves have lived in. When we find that purpose, the way to fulfill that purpose can be discovered.
For example, my purpose in life is something of a crusade for me. I believe with every fiber of my being that children deserve to be seen and heard. They deserve to have adults whom they can completely and thoroughly trust to not lie, abuse, or neglect them. These adults should be their trusted ally, never their enemy; they should patiently model for the children how to make their own will their servant and not their master. Ever child deserves to know the truth about how much Jesus loves them and has a plan for their lives. They should never be made to feel like they are a mistake or an accident. They should know that we feel deeply the responsibility of their care and provision, their education and their self-image.
So, we need purpose and passion, but what next? How do we actually bring that to our lives?
Our “how?” needs to directly correlate with our “why?”
I’m going to use my children’s education as an example, because of course, this topic so directly correlates with my focused passion in life.
My husband and I have a very clearly stated “why?” for our children’s education. (I may add that before we had that “why?” sorted out and articulated clearly, I struggled horrendously with curriculum jumping – extremely frustrating! Now, I use whatever curriculum I feel will be a useful tool to accomplish my goal.)
This is our purpose: We want them to know how absolutely unique and special each one of them is to us and to God. We want them to be able to not get sucked into the comparison game because average is not a goal.We want our children to learn at their own speed, using their own God-given strengths and passions to make a difference in the world around them. We want them to develop stellar critical thinking abilities. We want them to know what they believe and why they believe it and to have a passionate purpose in life. We want them to be able to defend their faith with facts. We want them to be unafraid to do hard things.
This is our how: We do educate at home; we do not homeschool to bubble-wrap our kids. Instead, we discuss (a LOT!) what is going on in the world and how we can shine the light and hope of Jesus. We do use curriculum as a tool to teach our children; we do not run our children through the curriculum so we can mark off that we finished every page of every single required book/course. We do test our children because that is the law in our state; we do not use these test as a measuring tool or guide of any kind to assess how intelligent our child are. We do parent our children; we do not smother our children. We do set boundaries for our children; we do not micro-manage their lives, their hair, their wardrobe, or their fingernails – we allow them to have creative and unique styles. More than anything, we work to live authentically and honestly before them, neither magnifying nor hiding our own faults.
So, what is your “why?” – your passion? What is your “how?”- the process or method of living it out?
Let me know what you think of this series! Please message me or leave a comment below. And if you know someone who could use some encouragement, share the love!