Now When You Say “Purposeful Living”……

Purposeful living. How would one even define “Purposeful Living?” I suppose it looks different from one person to the next.

I can tell you what it’s most likely NOT, though!

It’s probably NOT sitting in your living room browsing the internet for dresses to wear to sing in a wedding in June while surrounded by the last of your clutter that needs to be sorted and either packed, donated, or removed from your life altogether.

It’s probably NOT using your brief unemployed stint to watch TV marathons all day (although that is great fun, and I don’t know what I’d do without Shawn, Gus, and the Santa Barbara Police Department for company!)

It’s probably NOT having a daily interior battle with yourself over whether or not you WANT to go to Mass, especially when there are at least three local Masses, all at different times of the day. When the Mass is so very accessible, why on earth would there be any question in my mind as to whether or not I want to go? And yet I think I average maybe one day a week (apart from Sundays, of course) when I’m off for at least three days.

I’d say there are probably a million ways I could have used my time much more wisely. For instance, I could have completed all my packing in about 2-3 days if I had tried. I could be reading some mind-expanding literature. I could be writing a song (okay probably not that last one, since my previous attempts at songwriting have been about on par with Mary Had a Little Lamb…). I could be perfecting my skills on the guitar. I could be volunteering at a soup kitchen or a local homeless shelter. I could be volunteering at Church. I could be out saving unborn babies.

But am I? Nope. And that begs the question “why not?” Good question!

Probably because the one thing that keeps us as humans from living more purposefully is our very selves. We are naturally selfish creatures. We find it much easier to think about ourselves and our problems than others’. It’s so much easier to stay inside our own heads than to try to understand the heads of others. When faced with the option to either stay at home or do something we enjoy or to get out of our comfort zones and do something for someone else, how often do we choose the former? “It’s too far away,” “It’s too late,” “It’s been a long day/week and I’m tired,” etc. These are all the excuses I use to get out of doing things I don’t want to. I don’t know what your reasons are, and they may be much better reasons than mine. I’m also not saying that every spare minute has to be spent doing something for others, but when looking back through my life, I realized with much chagrin that the amount of time I have spent for others is pitifully low compared to the time I’ve spent for me.

This “gap,” this single time, is the PERFECT time to work on serving others first. I’m no expert, but I’ve heard that marriage is filled with compromise and selflessness and continually putting your spouse and your children first. And I would hazard a guess that this doesn’t come naturally after you’re married unless it’s something that was practiced and perfected prior to entering into marital bliss.

So all that being said, I challenge you (if you haven’t already) to prayerfully consider the ways you can get out of yourself and out of your comfort zone, either to help another person or to work towards making yourself the best version of you that you can be, and to give your life more “Purpose.”

(If you already have the most purposeful existence out there, then we’re going to need a guest post from you.)

Now go forth and do great things with your day. I’m going to get back to packing. *Sigh*

–Virginia

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