What Nicaragua Taught Me about Living with Purpose Daily
Good morning from Westminster, MD!
Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel like you are just drifting through life? Like a sailboat that has lost its rudder or a leaf floating down a stream, pushed by the current with any particular aim, you wonder if your life really matters all that much. I have found myself there from time to time. It is that feeling that life is just happening to you. It can leave you feeling a low level of hopelessness.
I was reminded of this less than ideal mental and emotional state during my recent trip to Nicaragua. It wasn’t that I felt rudderless while in Nicaragua. Quite the opposite, actually. It was the fact that I was living with purpose that shed light on how easy it is to find yourself drifting without clarity on where you are heading and why. This is typically how it happens: unintentionally.
Rarely does anyone choose to live without purpose. It can be a product of a busy life. As a parent of two young kids, it is easy to get caught up in the urgent while letting the important fall by the waist side. The reality is many of the urgent issues that arise have to be addressed. If my kids are hungry or need help with something they are unable to do, I don’t have much of a choice but to take care of them. The urgent items do matter. The problem is they can slowly steal our ability to focus beyond them if we are not careful. This can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of someone’s character or intelligence. The more urgent matters that vie for our attention the harder it becomes to keep our eyes on our purpose. Many times, it isn’t until we are further downstream that we realize we have gone off course. Sometimes it is when we get out of the flow of our normal life that we remember the importance of purpose.
This is what happened to me in Nicaragua. While traveling around Nicaragua with our NicaWorks! team it was clear why we were there: to be a catalyst for practical and spiritual hope. I was in Nicaragua because I believe in the God-given potential of all people, even those being held captive by the lie of hopelessness. This is my purpose. Not just in Nicaragua but in every role I play in this life. I find great purpose in helping others discover and live into their God-given potential–in helping others grab onto the all-in hope available to them. This is why I wrote Hope Realized and it is what gives me clarity about why I do what I do. So, does it take traveling to Nicaragua, or some other place that removes us from our normal life, to rediscover our purpose?
As helpful as it can be to do something or go somewhere that allows us to focus completely on living with purpose, it should’t and really can’t depend on it. The truth is we need to be able to find purpose in our daily life. The good news is it is possible if we are intentional. Earlier, I mentioned that I find purpose in helping other discover the God-given potential. This certainly happens when I am in Nicaragua, but I have this same opportunity when I am at home with my wife and kids, at work with my team, and in the many other opportunities I have to interact with people throughout my life. It is not a lack of purpose but rather a lack of intentional focus that leaves me feeling rudderless. The purpose is always there. The question is will I see in the midst of all of life’s distractions, both good and bad.
The same is true for you. I do not know what your purpose is, but I do believe you have one, whether you know it or not. We do not have to go anywhere to live with purpose. In fact, living with purpose happens when you discover how to see your life through the lens of your purpose and act accordingly. It can be with your kids or your coworkers. It can be in normal interactions as you go throughout your day. Purpose is not found in a specific location, it is discovered in the way we choose to see our life.
You have a purpose. It is just waiting for you to discover it.