Monday, November 03, 2008

Quiet Reflection on Purpose

Life is quiet right now. A quiet, peaceful, and rainy week-end would be boring as recorded in blogland. But oh, it was so tranquil. There's something about watching clouds drift by and raindrops fall, and about walking in the woods, or baking apple cake with cinnamon and eating it while sipping a nice cup of hot tea. Even the dogs relaxed and slept by the fire, not worrying about squirrels or noises in the night.

Since life is quiet, I decided it would be a good time to review another chapter of one of my favorite books, "Disciplines of the Beautiful Women" by Anne Ortlund. The chapter called "Your Goals" speaks to my heart during a time of transition in my life. It could be applicable to all of us collectively as well, as election day draws near. Goals not only help us in our individual lives, but in decisions that impact the future of our nation too. Anne starts this chapter by comparing establishing life goals to a journey on a ship. She says that along the way, all kinds of contrary winds and cross currents could try to take us off-course. It is only by continually refocusing, redirecting, and recentering on our destination that we end up in the right place at all. In other words, we'll get nowhere we want to be if we just drift along. However, goals do more than head you in the direction you want to go. According to Anne, they also give you your identity! Identity --- who I am --- who you are --- all tied up in goals and objectives, and lead us in the direction we want to take our lives from this point on. When we make goals it helps us focus on who we are and how we are different or the same from those around us. They help us identify who we are in this world. Anne then discusses how we must live out our goals in an authentic manner, reflecting the love of the Lord. Life's goals combine with life's purposes, what we hope to be, what we hope to do, by the time we die. Achieving these goals and purposes is clarified by writing them out so we can read them frequently and use them to measure our success in achieving them. I could not help but smile when I read this paragraph of Anne's: "I don't deserve a single day, but I must say I want to be like that woman of Proverb 31:25; she 'smiles at the future'. 'Little old ladies' have been kicked around so long that I'd love to be a way-show-er, an old woman with God's glory on her head who would help change the image." Isn't that an awesome objective? I'm imagining a little old lady dressed in red with a purple hat covered with flowers, on tour with her tea group, being a way-show-er to everyone around her! What a valiant purpose!

7 comments:

  1. Lovely thoughts. When I focus on what Jesus has done for me and my hope in Him, it's easy to smile at my future :0)

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  2. We were seated opposite an entire group of such ladies last summer...and my, their enthusiasm and sparkling conversation blessed me. I like the thought of anyone who can smile at the future.

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  3. Wonderful post...I must find that book.

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  4. Beautiful post ! I think that we are all constantly finding focus and purpose and perhaps that seeking is really just "right as rain" !

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  5. I try each morning to ask the Lord what He wants me to do today. I try to seek His goals for me each day xoxoxo Clarice

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  6. Hi LaTeaDah! I love "quiet" days - today is that for me. And pouring down rain outside. I also read Anne's book - years ago! It made an impact on my life ... I wonder if I still have it? mmmm....

    Happy Fall! (and rain!)

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  7. Awesome post ! Yes , yes I so hardily agree with you and her, if just to be a woman who makes a difference by simply doing what is right and being clear faced, pure heart ed with clean hands. Oh that my children will be raised to rise up and call me blessed. That my husband sit at the gates of the elders honored and covered in my faithfulness to him.
    Yes, I am with her.
    Always reaching pulling up on that cord of three stands not so easily broken, and as HIS eyes go to and fro searching for anyone someone to stand in the gap may I be at the ready with a right mind to offer myself a living sacrifice. Because He is my friend, and I am his.

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