Journey, Purpose and the meaning of life

 

The fact that we our on a journey, suggest to me we are trying to get from one place in our life to another place in our life.  To me that suggest that we are trying to improve or head in a certain direction.  But, What, Where, and why?  In the hopes of creating some discussion, I hope you will answer all or some of the following questions.  We all at some point want to know why we are here and what does that mean.  So I ask you:

A) what does purpose mean?

B) does purpose exist or is religious gibber jabber made to make you feel guilty?

c) how does one discover ones purpose?

d) can you ever achieve your purpose and if so what happens then?

e) what is your purpose?

f) is purpose individual or universal?

g) is purpose and the meaning of life the same, intertwined, or not even related?

h) how does purpose effect the journey you are on?

I) and how does your journey affect your purpose or others purpose, if any?

j) any other thoughts.

I hope you will answer as many questions as you will like and I hope it will generate some discussion.

and the journey continues…

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20 Responses to Journey, Purpose and the meaning of life

  1. Wow, there’s a lot of depth in these questions, John. As usual, you’ve got me thinking. Do you want these posted here or emailed?

  2. A) what does purpose mean? Well, according to the dictionary, purpose is the reason something exists. As a Christian, my purpose for being here is to honor God, give Him glory, and to be in a relationship with Him as my Creator.
    B) does purpose exist or is religious gibber jabber made to make you feel guilty? God’s purpose is never to make us feel guilty or ashamed. His purpose is to honor us as His children, to make us His heirs, to love us and to eventually reunite with us.
    c) how does one discover ones purpose? It comes from the Holy Spirit. For me, it came in the form of ending what I thought was my purpose – teaching – and discovering through prayer and meditation what plans God had for me.
    d) can you ever achieve your purpose and if so what happens then? Absolutely. Looking forward, I’ll pray about what God has next for me. It’s about stepping into His will.
    e) what is your purpose? – Writing Bible curriculum for elementary age kids, either home school or Christian school students. I’ve been writing this God-given task for the last three years. I hope to be finished this year and then look toward publishing, and getting it into the hands of parents and Christian schools.
    f) is purpose individual or universal? I believe it’s both. Jesus left us with two commands: Love God above all else, and love one another. I think that’s universal. I also believe that the Holy Spirit gives each of us as unique individuals our own purpose toward that end.
    g) is purpose and the meaning of life the same, intertwined, or not even related? For me, the meaning, the purpose and my journey are intertwined. They all are the same path.
    h) how does purpose effect the journey you are on? Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” My purpose, therefore, affects my journey by honoring God in whatever I do, to build His kingdom by embodying the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in my thoughts, my words and my actions as best I can. I don’t always succeed, but it’s about continually navigating back onto that path.
    I) and how does your journey affect your purpose or others purpose, if any? Because I practice Galatians 5:22-23 (and by practicing, I hope I get better at it!), I would like to think that I in turn can affect the lives of others by shining the light of Jesus onto their path.
    j) any other thoughts. John, you always have a wonderful way of making me think deeply about my faith and putting into words my love of God. Thank you for the opportunity.

  3. Reblogged this on Susan Irene Fox and commented:
    Thoughtful questions from John Fletcher…my responses below. Thank you, John – ever digging deeper.

  4. a)Purpose is reason but more than reason. It is meaning.
    b)Purpose exists. We all, wittingly, or otherwise, search for the purpose, the why, the meaning to each of our individual lives as part of the collective. Angst represents the desire within to find a meaning. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel that need. Not that I can think of, anyway.
    c)Difficult one. Do we discover it? Happen upon it? Out of the blue? Possibly for some. Possibly for others after a more varied route. Self-examination. Not belly-button gazing! But an awareness on the journey, where we reflect and consider our responses to our interactions with the world and others in it. Consideration of what we think and feel seems right not just for us but for us as part of the whole cosmos. Being aware of the still, small voice, of the voice too of a developed conscience. And trying to live as closely to that as possible.

    d)Yes and no. I may believe I know my purpose but as life unfolds new areas may be revealed that encourage new or different growth. Not necessarily a new purpose per se but an acknowledgement that change is part of growth and growth recognises better ‘understanding’ of truths. Understanding is probably the wrong word. More a kind of inner knowing. Maybe?

    e)My purpose is to acknowledge my value here as a unique individual capable of making small or great ripples on the waters, impacting on my life and others around me in a positive way. It is in recognising my uniqueness as a part of God’s creation that I know I can be/do something that only I was created for. In the palm of His hand, as it were. Why would I do any of this? The ultimate purpose? To fulfil, as I see revealed to me, my reason for being and to one day, after death, know that I shared in part of His plan; the part that only I could play in my small ways. To fulfil this and be reunited with source. In answering that call I answer all others.

    f)The idea of purpose is universal. I believe the ultimate purpose for all is to one day be one again with God. The individual purpose may be very different and unique in how that aim is achieved.

    g)The same, I believe. And yet, different in the way each finds that meaning and perceives the realisation of it. So also intertwined. There may even be some, for whom, the purpose of life appears to be one simple aim, eg. Make lots of money, be famous, etc. One purpose but somehow no meaning, as I see it. I do think that even people whose aim is one directional still find angst at times in their lives when they wonder, ‘what’s it all about?’ It may come early or late to them in life. No matter. The need, I believe, is ultimately in us all.

    h)Life has changed for me over the years as it does for all of us. My purpose or meaning has not changed in essence although I find I am more ‘understanding’ and capable of compassion now that I have encountered areas of life where I sought these for myself, needed them, even. Empathy becomes a great tool for kindness and mercy. Life is always changing even in small ways and I change with it in small ways too. Purpose remains.

    i)I see this as the ripple effect. I might not seem to make a huge difference. But, in small and seemingly insignificant ways, I make a difference. I know this. I think of my job as a teacher of 30 years. I think of my role as mother of 24 years. I think of my role as wife of 26 years. Friend. Sister. Daughter. Aunt. In all of those things by which others define me and, I myself, I can make a difference. I am me. I try to bring me to all life situations. Not always successfully, in terms of handling all things well. But I strive.

    j)The only thing I would add is that as pompous as some of the above may sound to some ears, I believe this for all. There is a reason for every one of us here and we may all come to discovery or realisation at different times but that doesn’t alter the fact that our mere presence here in this world causes life to occur in different ways than it otherwise would have without us. Like the famous, perhaps fabled, butterfly effect. Or better still, like, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

    • John says:

      Thank you for sharing that with us. I love this “To fulfil, as I see revealed to me, my reason for being and to one day, after death, know that I shared in part of His plan; the part that only I could play in my small ways.”. The part that you don’t realize the part that you play until it is over, and then you realize how much of an impact you did or could have had.

  5. lensgirl53 says:

    A) what does purpose mean? Usefulness.

    B) does purpose exist or is religious gibber jabber made to make you feel guilty? It exists.

    c) how does one discover ones purpose? Simply by living. I believe our purpose evolves as we change with age. Even our death may have a purpose or just life’s situations.

    d) can you ever achieve your purpose and if so what happens then? Yes,…we die. Even Judas had a purpose.

    e) what is your purpose? My purpose as a Christian is still being revealed as I grow in my faith. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. I am WOMAN.

    f) is purpose individual or universal? I believe it can be both…as individual as a snowflake or as universal as the sun…..perhaps it comes down to “love”…we are called to love by a loving God.

    g) is purpose and the meaning of life the same, intertwined, or not even related? Somehow it seems related because there is a bigger picture that we can’t see. God’s sovereign hand is involved in His creation, thus our paths are never random and pointless.

    h) how does purpose effect the journey you are on? I think my purpose as a mother and wife is a very serious matter. I think because the western world has somehow demeaned and redefined motherhood and being a housewife as nothing more than a domesticated, uneducated, position….the challenges have been many and have made me even more devoted to what I think is a noble status….not that I care about the Status Quo but I do think being a housewife and a mother is worth defending. After all what is more important than raising the next generation?

    I) and how does your journey affect your purpose or others purpose, if any? Hmmmm, I think I may have answered about my own purpose in the last question. I have influenced my family in positive and responsible ways as a wife and mother because I love them and have always had their best interest at heart. If any negativity came from me to them it was never intentional. I am a human and that gets in the way of my best of intentions sometimes. There are others in my life who have directly impacted me. My son’s death has had a profound affect on my life as did his whole life. He will never know how his purpose in dying affected many, some of whom he never knew. I have redirected my life to blog and write about suicide because of his death and in doing so I believe I have touched others who have dealt with mental illness in much the same way.

    j) any other thoughts.

    • John says:

      Thank you for participating in the discussion. A lot of people are caught up in the emotions that come with death, that they can’t see that purpose could be a part of it. I appreciate your point of view when it comes to that. Keep being a light.

  6. lensgirl53 says:

    What was fun was answering the questions first and then reading the other posts to see how they answered and if we had similarities….and we did!

    • John says:

      There was a lot of similarities. It was cool reading and listening to people share. I will be sharing a post that will enlighten the purpose behind all this, but this was good and I am glad people shared and I hope they will continue to share.

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  9. bethbyrnes says:

    First off, I love this fall background.

    As for purpose. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the number one thing I could do, if I were to achieve it, would be to awaken. Once we have total conscious awareness, everything changes. It may be that some people can do this all at once (like Buddha). I suspect for me as for most people, this is a gradual process. As we awaken, our concept of purpose will evolve. A huge but interesting topic.

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