“If you want to identity me, ask me not where I live, or what I
like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living
for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully
for the thing I want to live for.” ~ Thomas Merton
Towel & Basin
people have little clear purpose in life. After dating, courting,
marrying, having children, and establishing a career (and not all those
things happen for all of us), life easily settles into “same old,
day follows a familiar routine. As creatures of habit we establish
predictable patterns. Many of us leave for work at the same time each
day, do the same kinds of tasks day in and day out, and return home in
the evening to watch the same TV shows. We may have variations from
time to time because of a gym membership, kids’ clubs, or special
church programs. But all in all, it’s the “same old, same old.”
anyone watching us know what we live for?
Warren’s Purpose Driven Life (2002) hit the bestseller
lists for a long time, in part because it helped people see their lives
from a larger perspective than kids, work, and home. Similarly, the
more recent One Month to Live by Kerry and Chris Shook (2008)
enjoys wide popularity because it provokes us to define what matters
most in life to us.
gives us purpose and focus?
a Christian perspective, purposeful living has nothing to do with our
own ambitions but with the pursuit of God and the well-being of others.
It does not mean achieving personal goals but extending ourselves to
others’ needs. To live purposefully and passionately is to love
completely; to love the Father and to love each other, not with casual
interest but focused attention. Such living abandons self-indulgence
and pursues service; yes, service.
the middle of that first Holy Week -- as the cross loomed -- Jesus
gathered His disciples together, took up a towel and basin, and washed
their feet. Then he urged them to do likewise, not just for each other
but for the blistered, bruised, deformed, and dirty feet of the world.
They would serve the broken and the beaten, the disillusioned and the
defeated, the hurt and the humbled, not to demonstrate obedience
but to define their life’s vocation and purpose.
we rediscover the centrality of service, we’ll move beyond the
“same old, same old” and find that the calluses of this
world become crowns in the Kingdom.