Thursday, June 27, 2013

Being As Purpose

In the formal Mission Statement of St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, CO, it says, “The monk’s life is based more on how he lives than on what he does, and how he works more than what that work is” (italics added).

We all wear many hats and hold many labels simultaneously during the course of our lives.  We rush about everyday trying to find the necessary time to fulfill each of these multiple roles.  We struggle to determine the proper manner in which we will realize these roles.  We often work to find worthwhile meaning in these roles as regards our well-being and self-satisfaction.  And when we fail to find sufficient self-satisfaction, we typically simply take on even more roles – often without discarding any old ones.

Underneath all of this frenzy is a continual search for Purpose in our life.  We sense the nagging feeling of Why Am I Here in this life?  What am I supposed to be doing with it?  What is my Purpose and Calling for my time on this earth?

In our search for answers, we usually focus on What we do, trying to find that “one, specific, overriding thing” outside of us that we should be “doing.”  Most of the time, it is an elusive search.  Elusive because the answer to our Purpose is not in the “out there doing.”  It is to be found in the “within of being.”

“Being” is about how we live, how we think, how we act towards others and to all of creation around us.  Being is how we feel, and how open we are to experiencing those feelings.  Being is having a connection with all that which surrounds our life, regardless of its seeming pleasure or discomfort in the moment, and having a full participation and engagement with it.

When we have quiet clarity inside of us about our Being, then the specifics of what we select to do in the outside world is less important.  How busy we are is less important.  How “successful” we are by traditional external measurements is less important.  Rather, success is realized by how grounded we are in our true self.

Our purpose in Life is simply to Live This Life.  To experience it however it comes to us.  To learn and to grow by life’s teachings.  And then to use that learning to give back to Life.  God does not generally care what we do for our “job” or “career” as long as we are learning and growing well by our experience.  No job is too mundane or beneath us if we do it properly.  No role within society is more exalted than another.  All work is both our teacher and our gift to others.

Instead of agonizing over trying to find our Purpose and Calling, we should instead look to live in simple openness and responsiveness to the calls that come to us.  To seek out many doors, knock on them, and pass through the ones that open to us.  Our life is a trial and error existence, a constant experiment, always fluidly in motion down a curved path not a straight one.  So we choose to move through Life as it comes, as God sends it to us.  It is in that movement itself that we find both God and our True Purpose.

©2013 Randy Bell


Tyanna said...

This is a most refreshing reflection on one's life call and "Purpose". It resonates deeply within me. Thanks, Randy.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Randy. I really enjoy your writings.

Anonymous said...

Well, didn't THIS ring a few bells (no pun intended) for me! Learning this lesson, bit by bit, but learning I am. Thank you for 'languaging' these thoughts, as always.