– In the first of two articles, Parousia director and former Senate candidate, Kevin Bailey, discusses the purposeful life. – Ed.
What is my highest purpose? Why am I here and what can I devote my life to that will achieve the greatest good? These are questions that any of us who are serious about living a life filled with meaning and reality will have to eventually confront.
The tragedy of our secular society is that the culture replaces the fulfillment that comes from a purposeful life with a series of distractions and selfish indulgences that leave us disillusioned and dissatisfied.
If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything.
If we are destined to stand for something, we should aspire to ensure we are able to stand for the greatest good.
It is inbuilt in our DNA. It is the deepest yearning of our soul. It has to be real and it has to be true.
We have to seek the fullness of truth.
What We Really Should Fear
The tragedy of so many lives is that we don’t think deeply enough and we find ourselves seeking amusements to the point where we eventually realise we have wasted our opportunities.
We shouldn’t be afraid of dying; we should be afraid of not really living.
My friend Greg Murtha died a short while ago and during his five year struggle with cancer he wrote a book called Out of the Blue where he described the blessing of how his illness was a catalyst to focus him on really living and making his last days some of the most meaningful of his whole life.
Bob understood that deep need for significance, but it took Greg to be confronted with terminal cancer to really apply it with urgency to his own life and he was fortunate to have the preparation and formation to make his shortened second half more than he could have hoped for.
My Personal Journey to the Meaning of Life
For me, my journey began a long time ago as I struggled to determine who I was and how I should live out that calling. Finding ourselves has to be intentional.
The question is not so much ‘what’ as ‘what for’.
Our freedom isn’t freedom from something, it is freedom to do and be something. In Ephesians 2:10 Saint Paul tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”.
For each of us it is a decision to get serious about making ‘the main thing’ the main thing. Discerning what it is that we were born for is a daunting task, but one that we shouldn’t shirk.
Unlocking our purpose brings us to life and awakens us to possibilities we had previously not imagined.
I am convinced that we can’t truly live out God’s plan for our life until we fully surrender to Him.
What Does Your Lifestyle Say About You?
We tend to justify only being partially committed to our faith and remaining in control of our own destiny rather than praying the prayer, “Thy will be done”.
We hold on and we find ourselves catechised by the culture. I know I chased material success for its own sake. I found myself living in the world and going to church on the side.
My faith was there but it was conveniently fitting in with my lifestyle as I pursued the ‘goods’ of financial success, a nice home and car, and focused on what was best for me and for my family.
There was certainly nothing about this that you could criticise, but we serve a big God, who wants so much more for us than we can imagine. It was only when I decided to “let go and let God” take charge that I started living out something more.
My wife and my family of seven children are still the most important people in my life, but I am best for them when I am serving others, and living an example of faith and surrender.
How has your life been transformed? What do you treat as most important in your life?