Allen Price (1973)
But actually I want to know if you have a purpose in life and, if so, what is it and why is it? I was reading an old prayer the other day and this phrase struck me as it possibly will you: “in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose…”.
I think the idea is that somehow we’ll be more connected, more in a state of rightness, feel more one with the Force (somebody help me here – I’m floundering) when we let God use us for whatever he has in mind rather than working only to meet our goal of, say, financial independence, a Ferrari, and membership in the exclusive country club on the edge of town by age 40.
When I was a salaryman, I didn’t think about my purpose too much. I knew what it was – to go to my stupid job for one more day, and earn my salary for another month so I could pay the mortgage and insurance and taxes and car payments and the kids’ music lessons. I didn’t feel a bit connected with Eternal Oneness — I was just doing what I had to do. So what else is new?
Now I’m old and rich. I sit in my exclusive award-winning pigsty at the tippy-top of South Hill looking down on my extensive grounds with their graveled paths and fountains and rose gardens and I have to ask myself – now what? What is my purpose in life?
Remember that gods and myths guy who was in vogue in the Eighties, Joseph Campbell? His memorable phrase for the secret to life was “Follow Your Bliss…if you follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
Most folks don’t have that option, but some of us do. I was wondering if ‘following your bliss’ is the same thing as ‘fulfilling Your purpose’ in the prayer I quoted. Is feeling right about what you’re doing a kind of litmus test?
To go a step further, if you love doing something and feel you’re where you’re supposed to be when you’re doing it and just want to do it more – just for the thing itself and not for any kudos or toys that might come of it – is that a sign that you’re not only fulfilling your purpose – but also God’s purpose for you?
In the past, I’ve usually heard explainers say that ‘fulfilling God’s purpose’ meant not thinking about yourself but only about fulfilling God’s plan, which to them meant you should be a missionary or plant a church in the next town or teach Sunday School or something in the religious line. But that doesn’t seem right to me. It’s imposing very severe limits on God’s plan!
If you do all that stuff but don’t enjoy it and aren’t very good at it and wish night would come – maybe it’s because God always thought you’d be perfect for schmoozing with people down at the flea market or fixing their cars for them. Or even playing video games, if you are passionate about it. One thing leads to another you know.