Pentecost 158

Pentecost 158
My Proverbs 8

Purpose or Goal?

George Bernard Shaw once said: “Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself.” In the house of our life, what is our purpose? Where do we make a goal? Do we have a goal? What is the vocation for our living? Is is the same as a purpose or a goal? SO many questions…This living thing is hard!

Marcus Aurelius is reputed to have said: “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

Many times we use our faith as our excuse. We blame a silent deity or philosopher for our not knowing what to do, which way to turn, when to speak up and to whom or for why. It’s the “Why?” that really gets us. Why are we here? Why are we…we?

Often we use the two words interchangeably. They do seem to work as synonyms, as do target, goals, aims, intentions, reasons…The question is that we need to determine is what really is the difference. After all, synonyms are similar but they are not identical.

A goal is a definitive or specific thing we want to accomplish or reach. A purpose, though, is much broader and without a given time. Purpose is our reason for being where we are or where we hope to go. It is, simply put, the reason for our existence. A goal might be given to you or even forced upon you. Purpose, though, cannot. The very fact that you are alive means there is a purpose for your being.

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.” The Eagles’ song lyric is truth in action, especially when it comes to finding our purpose. Some in today’s world would say that having goals is pointless. Goals are important and can be effective stepping stones as we move through phases in our lives. However, it is paramount that we all determine what our purpose is.

While some feel goals help develop purpose, others feel they obscure it and still others feel goals without purpose to be fruitless endeavors. AS mentioned before there are those who disdain the concept of goals completely. In his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything”, the cartoon creator of “Dilbert”, Scott Adams writes: “A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, it’s a system. If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal. The system-versus-goals model can be applied to most human endeavors. In the world of dieting, losing twenty pounds is a goal, but eating right is a system. In the exercise realm, running a marathon in under four hours is a goal, but exercising daily is a system. In business, making a million dollars is a goal, but being a serial entrepreneur is a system.”

Many of us are still stumbling around trying to discover our purpose and I haven’t any magic words to help you find that buried treasure called purpose. If you have some dieas, I would be delighted to hear them. I do think a good start is to do something good for someone else. While you are doing that, think about what you are good at and how that can benefit the world. The rest will most likely come quicker than you expected. Whether you then develop goals or follow a system, you will be living your purpose.

My Proverb 8
We make life so complicated when really it is simply doing that which is needed in the most beneficial way, the way which most expedites necessities. Just as the wind brings us gentle reminders we are present in the moment, it also gives us air for living and swaying flowers to enjoy. Let us remember that life is like that wind and in the living of it is the wisdom and joy.

[Today’s music video will, if you haven’t captions or speak Korean, need an explanation.]
His name was Choi Sung-Bong and he was 22 years old. “I’ve lived in very difficult circumstances. I just want to be like normal other people. I don’t sing that well but when I sing, I feel like I become a different person. I’m a manual worker. I was left in the orphanage when I was three and when I was five I ran away after [I] got beaten by people there.” He was asked how he had lived since then. “I sold gums or energy drinks on the street. I had that life for about ten years, like a dayfly. I slept on the stars or public toilet. I was alone. I took GED to get my elementary and middle school degrees. High school was the first school I’ve been to. Rather than say I like singing, I sing because it was the first thing I liked after living that dayfly life.” Once sold, knowing what he liked, the young man found his purpose in his passion and his goal was to develop his instrument to sing.

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