My heart is a scrambled mix of emotions and my words, a jumbled mess. I have no idea how I’m going to get through this blog, but I feel as though I must write. Memories don’t fade easily when they’re inscribed in ink, as well as on the heart. And I definitely don’t want to forget the lessons learned from life, death and all things in between.
I thought my research for Ecclesiastes: Understanding What Matters Most had taught me a lot about the brevity of life and the need to live life on purpose, but sitting beside my mom’s hospital bed has magnified the message Solomon uttered millenniums ago. Life truly is but a vapor.
Defined by the dash between the year of our birth and the year of our death, we have just a short time to live a life of purpose…to make a difference in this life we all live under the sun. Our birth certificate may inadvertently come with a life expectancy, but it isn’t guaranteed. Tomorrow may never come. So what should we be doing with the days the Lord has given us? Which dreams should we be pursuing? How then should we live?
Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Paul told us to set our affections on things above, not on the things of this earth. Living for Christ…that is to be the motivating factor for our lives. Nothing else matters when they’re calling in Hospice.
But how can we really begin doing more than just talking about making a difference in the lives of others…fulfilling God’s call on our lives and reaching this world for Christ?
1. Analyze Take a good hard look at your life. What is it you are called to do? What steps are needed to get there? What are you doing (or not doing) that’s preventing you from fulfilling that which you were born to do? How many irons do you have in the fire? Write down your dreams and goals. Think about what you want to accomplish and begin charting a course for your destination. If you have no target, you have no aim. Living life on purpose requires honest self-evaluation, but be ready to implement some difficult changes.
2. Simplify Eliminate the excess baggage. Cut the pork. Get rid of that which consumes your time and prevents you from being what God has called and gifted you to be. We are much more effective when we narrow our focus to that which we know we need to do, rather than trying to do a little bit of everything. For me, it means taking a social media break and fasting from television. For some it may mean shopping much less and spending more time on honing the skills or stirring up the gifts God has given them, for others, it means getting rid of the stuff that takes too much time to take care of. What ever it is, just simplify. Just remember…not every door is ours to walk through.
3. Organize I blogged about it earlier this year, but it’s a good idea to make a “life list.” Have a clue about where you are going and what it takes to get there. De-clutter. Get your finances in order. Believe it or not, being organized is a time saver. It doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your plan til death do you part, it just means you have one and you have chartered your course from point “A” to point “B.”
4. Get Busy Good intentions are just that…intentions. We have to do more than talk about what we want to do; we have to put some feet to our prayers and begin to pursue our plans. Actions do speak louder than words. If you want to work with the homeless, go to the local shelter and see if you can help. If you’re called to women’s ministry, begin seeking opportunities to minister to women. Go to the local hospital and see if they could use a volunteer. Pour your life into young mothers at the women’s shelter. Do some research in your area. You’ll be surprised what opportunities are available for those who are willing to serve. Get busy.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that my mom was cheering me on while I played softball…tucking me in when I was afraid…always challenging me to buck up and be strong. It feels like yesterday when she and her best friend took a wild ride across country. Oh, how time truly flies. What a lesson to learn as I tearfully watch my mom transition from this life to the next.
We only have one shot to do this thing called life. It’s not a dress rehearsal for the real thing…it is the real thing. Oh, how short this life really is! We can’t allow our resolutions to become just good intentions. After all, living a life of purpose means we have to live life on purpose. Seeking God, living for Him, fulfilling our call, running the race, finishing the course He has set before us.
What is it that you do to live this life on purpose? Share your resolutions. Make them public and hold yourself accountable to follow through.