Find Your Purpose In Life

by Scott Morrice on 05/11/2012

I want to write about 2 posts that I ran into recently—on the same day. Each post, on its own, had an effect on me. But when taken together (because that is how I actually read them), the effect was really very profound! And they were both, in their own way, telling us to find your purpose in life.

The first post in sequence (I think a fortuitous occurrence) was written by Heather Armstrong and is titled For Jeff. Before you go any further, read that post.

Okay, are you as depressed as I was? Isn’t that the blackest thing you have ever read? It is probably incredibly trite to say that I just can’t imagine being in that space—-because, it is true—I can’t, and, I really hope, you can’t. I am pretty sure that you actually have to have been in that space to truly understand the—I want to say despair, but it is way beyond that—I really don’t know how to describe what I was reading.

Having said that, we can still read that post and feel overwhelming compassion, feel our hearts go out to this person, and to his family and friends. And I think it is also very informative to read some, or all, of the comments that follow that post. Depression and mental disease are truly terrible states of being, and not at all uncommon! We obviously need to do a lot more (a lot more!) about removing any sense of social stigmatism from these conditions. More on this in a later post.

So then, luckily for me, I read a post written by Bruce Sanguin.

From darkness into light!

By way of a little background, in my Evolutionary Cosmology post I wrote about the book, Universe Is A Green Dragon, by Bruce Swimme:

His view is that the universe needs to be considered as actually a developing being. He sees the universe as having a beginning, and as being, even now, in a state of developing.

And he believes that the human person, rather than being a separate unit in all of this, is the result of a multi-billion year process and is actually a part of this entity.

As I mentioned in that post, it was apparent to me that Swimme was of the opinion that our role in the universe was nothing short of allowing the universe to experience itself!

And in his Evolutionary Theology in Six Hundred and Forty Words or so…  post Bruce Sanguin discusses this very idea. He writes:

Divine creativity is expressed primarily in, through, and as the evolutionary history of the universe, (able now to consciously enjoy the creative process in, through, and as us). The evolving cosmos, including life on our planet—both bodies and minds—is the incarnation of God’s deep creative desire for love to find its fullest expression.

And again:

…we are occasions of the divine creativity and love coursing through the cosmos commissioned with the purpose of birthing the “new thing” God is doing. Anointed and called to be the new thing that is eternally springing forth from the heart of God, we proclaim and enact the Kin-dom of God.

I personally find this view of our place in the universe to be very uplifting—what a great job we have! And even though this view also carries with it the pressure of enormous responsibility, it makes me feel hopeful because it gives me a sense of purpose—which is exactly what Jeff was missing in his life.

I’ll keep you posted.

  • Lmmd

    I’m sorry that Jeff died in a room not of his choosing. By his own hand! I’m sorry too that my younger brother Brian died some years ago while still in his 50’s. I’m sorry that Jeff’s mental illness and Brian’s lung cancer all too often continue to claim innocent victims despite all of the progress in modern medical science. I’m sorry. But hideosity happens.

    Beastly, loathsome, disgusting ulcers sometimes afflict the beautiful body that is normal life. They disfigure it; they scar it; and they are lamentable. But they need not spoil it. If, along with the Rev. Bruce Sanguin, we embrace the hope implicit in our Christian tradition, if we take heart in the notion that “the evolving cosmos, including life on our planet … is the incarnation of God’s deep creative desire for love to find its fullest expression,” then we will know not only hope on earth but, ultimately, bliss in the Beatific Vision.

    I’m sorry that Jeff died. And Brian. I can only hope that at the end, as they breathed their last, they knew something of the paradoxical selflessness of Jesus, and the fulfillment that it can afford the believer, that they sought “not so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

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