“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau
Howard Schultz’ vision had two purposes: creating a great work environment and producing “the best coffee experience possible.” Starbucks was born. “Jerry Maguire” centered on a sports agent struggling with his own purpose and direction in a life that screamed, “Show me the money!” Rick Warren’s “Purpose-Driven Life” has sold over 24 million copies, shattering records at every turn. Best-seller lists, song lyrics, institutional mission statements, and movies all indicate that we increasingly think about this idea of purpose.
Perhaps we’ve allowed this question to lapse for too long. Well-established traditions, cultural patterns, and social routines make us think we’ve answered this question. To ask it again is unnecessary at best, and irresponsible when doing so demands any resource of time. Life’s expected duties await: school, work, family, success.
Yet why do we do these things? What stirs us to rise each day, take up our to-do lists, and begin checking off tasks? And who or what determines the list? Despite our subtle misgivings in this routine, at least we take comfort standing in the same line as everyone else. To ask the question might compel us to step out of line, that one place where we find some comfort in company. Better not to risk losing that, in addition to certainty. Still, we wonder what makes for real life, what it’s all about.
The expert in Luke asked Jesus what he should do to really live. To everyone’s dismay, Jesus didn’t prescribe a list of activities: where to work, how to spend his money, for whom to vote, or where to worship. However, he did offer a few words enormous in their simplicity. Sort of like Curly’s “one thing” in “City Slickers”. It feels so esoteric and Zen-like and lacking in complexity.
Jesus said “Love.” With all passions and commitment, all desires and efforts, all thoughts and will, love the Lord. Love others with the same devotion you show yourself. That’s all.
We so often believe we need to work certain jobs to win God’s favor, or to live like the spiritual giants of yesteryear. Yet when Jesus had his say about what makes for real life, he said otherwise.
He said, “Keep it simple and think about this one thing. Love God. Love each other. This is what you need remember, and it’ll be enough for this moment, this hour, this day, this life. To do so will consume all of you. All of your resources. It’ll probably prove too much for you, but that’s good. Because you’ll find in loving that you forget everything but the other person, even God. That’s life.”
What is my purpose in my family life? In my work? In my faith?
What do I tell others my purpose is?
What do I tell myself my purpose is?
© Revolworks 2006