You were born with a longing for meaning and significance. No one wants to get to the end of their life and say, “that was a waste; it had no meaning.” From what I can tell horses and toads don’t think a whole lot about significance. That is just an assumption, of course, because I have never had a horse or toad talk to me, but it sure seems like they don’t really think much about it. But when you’re being an honest and courageous human, at some point, you have to.
Heading into the Ocean of Purpose and Significance
It takes honesty and courage to give meaning and significance questions serious pursuit. Why? Because you are heading into deeper oceans of life and in big and deep oceans it’s easy to feel lost. It takes some training and skill to find your way in the massive ocean of possibilities. Experienced sailors know how to read the stars, sky, and currents; but that does not come naturally…you have to learn it. The Bible tells us that God has significant lives and tasks prepared for us, but they are not automatically downloaded into our consciousness at birth. There are no road signs in the ocean…you have to learn a new way of directional decision making.
It takes seeking and the willingness to admit, “I don’t know why I’m here or what my specific role is” to discover it. Scientists tell us there are more neuro-connections in our brains than there are grains of sand on the entire planet. That ,my friend, is gigantic ocean of possibilities. Which thoughts, desires, or feelings should I follow? How do I decide which path will lead to significance and meaning? Am I even willing to go through the discomfort of learning to recognize my path because it will involve some real soul searching and short-term failure.
After decades of pursuing the path of significance and interacting with hundreds if not thousands of people this is what I’ve discovered:
- A really big percentage of the world population does not have confidence that they are living lives of significance.
- Most people think in terms of paying the bills, taking care of the kids, having some fun, and alleviating pain. A sincere Christ-follower will probably add devotions and church participation. If they have the time and emotional energy left over to seriously think about their purpose in life, they are not sure where to start so they settle for these responses:
- “I’ll just do the best I can and trust that God will make sure I live the life He planned for me.”
- “This is too painful to think about, let’s go watch a funny movie, play some ping-pong, or eat some tasty food.”
- “If I just follow my heart, it will lead me to a life of meaning.”
- “Following your dreams is suicide: do you know how many people have pursued their dreams and gone broke? You do what you need to do and don’t worry about it.”
- A few discover their God-given why, and fewer still actually base their lives on living out their big why. These people have the highest levels of significance and impact.
Next time we’ll start talking about Where to Start in Living a Life of Purpose and Meaning, but for today, let me ask you, “Do you feel like there is more to life than what you’re currently experiencing? Are you willing to go through some internal discomfort to find your unique, fulfilling purposes?
If you are, I’ve got great news for you. Jesus said that everyone who seeks finds IF they do it with an open and honest heart and mind.
One of the keys to finding your way is to learn to pray. Did you know that you can grow strong internally through prayer even in the busiest of times? Click here now to get your FREE guide, Prayer for Busy People. www.MarkFurlongBooks.com