Mr. Warren says, “Everyone’s life is driven by something. Living on purpose is the path to peace.” I haven’t asked my family and friends yet what they would say the driving force is in my life, but I’m sure they’d say it was Hallie. I live my life around that child and gladly so. Yes, I spend time with other family members and friends and I do other things, of course. I haven’t closed myself off from everything else but her, but she drives me. I might have more than the purpose of being her mother, but for the past 11 years and for the upcoming 6 or 7, she’s my main focus – raising a strong, happy, loved, focused, intelligent, compassionate, independent, God-loving daughter, (and about 200 other qualities I need to instill) and it’s my job to get her prepared, as best I can.
I feel I have many purposes and roles in my life – mostly what drives me is Hallie, my mom, trying to live closer to God, to walk more closely with Jesus. To tighten the bonds with each new day.
There are many driving forces and a few of these are “guilt, anger, resentment, fear, materialism, and need for approval.” Some of these forces used to drive me and honestly, I suppose I battle it out with a couple of them, still.
I used to wander through life without a purpose. I never knew where I was going or where I’d end up and I didn’t really care too much about it back then. I felt I was a lost soul. In retrospect, I acknowledge God has always had dibs on my soul (or at least since I was 12), but I lacked drive and had no particular destination. One thing I’ve always known and probably the only thing I’ve ever been sure of that I wanted for my life was to be a mother. I got that! And since then, everything else has fallen into place. Is my life perfect? Of course not! Whose life is perfect? I know of no one. Do I have stressful factors in my life? Yes, plenty. Can I handle it? Totally! As long as we (Hallie, Mama and me) are safe and in good health, I can handle anything God wants to throw at me. He helps make me strong and I get stronger every day.
We are products of our past but I’m trying hard every day to not be a prisoner of it.
God can do wonderous things with your life, no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you think. All you have to do is ask him – ask him to do what it is you want or just ask him to use you for something amazing. Open yourself up and he will sure use you. You can always get a second chance with God and a third and a fourth. No matter how many times you fall and fail, he’s ready to help you up, dust the shame and weakness off and start something new with you. As long as you’re alive, it’s not too late. There is no sin so great that he’s not willing to blow it away with one kiss.
I used to be driven by anger and resentment. It’s amazing how dramatically your life can change when you learn how to forgive someone, including yourself. I’ve done some incredibly stupid and selfish things in my day and punished myself every day for years over it. Why? Forgiving myself has allowed me to live more freely and fully, not only for myself but my loved ones. Guilt, anger and resentment will only hold you back from your purpose, from living the life God meant for you to live. He doesn’t want you to suffer, yet, we make ourselves suffer sometimes, don’t we? Self-loathing can be quite debilitating.
Forgiving someone else can be even more amazing – that power shared with someone else then becomes squared because God seems more present when you are sharing his power of forgiveness with someone else. Oh! How he loves that. Don’t misunderstand – his power is pretty great when you are doing something for yourself, as well, like forgiving yourself, honoring him. It’s ok to honor yourself, too. Forgiving yourself is honoring. We are supposed to love ourselves, you know – sort of like your own best friend? Your inner child?
Forget the past, it’s behind you. It’s done. You can’t change it. Move on. We can learn from the past but don’t continue to live there in past wrongs and regrets. This will get you nowhere. And don’t worry so much about the future. It will be here soon enough. Live for today. That’s all you have that you know of. You might not be here tomorrow. Live in this moment. Forgive those who have wronged you, including yourself. Let it…just…go! Release it! Let those you love know how much you love them. You might not get the chance to tell them or show them or kiss them again. Don’t let this moment pass. You’ll never get this moment back. When it’s gone, it’s gone – no do-overs. Get it right. Do it now! Have I stressed this point clearly enough? 😉
Fear. Results of traumatic experiences maybe? Maybe how I grew up? Genetics? No matter the cause – that’s not really important. Getting past fears is what it’s about. I’m sure – I know I’ve missed out on great opportunities because of my fear of venturing out. I do play it safe a lot of the time, avoiding risks, maintaining the status quo. That’s not always true – I’ve taken some huge risks. Mr. Warren explains fear as a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intended for us to be. That is so true. Using faith and love as weapons to move against fear? I’m working on it.
I used to fear death when I was very young. Fear of judgment – I used to fear this more than I do now. I still fear it a little but then I have to remind myself: people will like you and dislike you for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, you have to live with yourself. You have to live your own journey and nobody else needs to understand that journey. Your journey is between you and God. If you live your day with loving others, trying to help others when you know they need you, you love yourself and you trust God to lead you, that should be enough to help you sleep at night.
Materialism? Possessions? Money? You aren’t taking it with you. Do you truly believe things make you great? In God’s eyes? Think about it. Not a tough answer there. Do I want a better car? I want a car that runs, has air and heat and that serves its purpose. Get me from point A to point B. Money? Oh, I could use more of it, certainly, but does it drive me? I don’t care to be filthy stinkin’ rich, no. To pay my bills and fix up my old house a little would be good and after that, if I could afford to get a haircut and take a modest vacation once a year (maybe a fun road trip), I’m good, so I guess money doesn’t really drive me. Sure, it helps and it is necessary, but doesn’t do the driving.
Having more to be important – not me. It is to some. Mr. Warren says self-worth and net worth are not the same. You notice those people who have tons of money, pricey cares, big homes – do they seem happy? Fulfilled? Do you have those things? Are you happy? Fulfilled?
The Bible says, “a pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”
God says the most valuable things in life are not things!
The need for approval – that’s me too, I guess, somewhat. “One key to failure is to try to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life. Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.” Mr. Warren states it very plainly, very clearly. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters.”
“Have purpose – have hope”. Ask God to help you realize your purpose and have hope. Be open to his answer. “Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life.”
Simplify – without purpose, you tend to make the wrong choices based on what you think you need, what others say you need, or a whim. You take on too much, which causes stress, fatigue, and sometimes conflict.
Focus – on what’s important. Without it, you keep “changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches…hoping each change will settle confusion and emptiness in your heart.” I love this: “Never confuse activity with productivity.”
What motivates your life – “purpose produces passion.”
Preparing you for eternity – It does not matter what people say after you are gone. There is no need for a legacy left behind on earth for people to eventually forget about. What is important is what God says – your “eternal legacy.”
The 2 most important questions for your eternal legacy are on page 37 in this book. This book prepares you for those questions and is the whole goal of this book. By the end of this book, you will be ready to answer those two most important questions that God will be asking you when you go before him for your final exam.
What do you think of this book, so far? I’m loving it, finding it most interesting and I can hardly wait for the next chapter, but alas! I must get ready for work. Time waits for no one. Y’all have a happy hump day. Make the most of your day – make it great! Love ya!