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Day 3: What Drives Your Life?

Posted on April 25th, 2004

I write this from my temporary residence at my co-worker’s house (as St. Paul’s closes for a week after exams are over… bah).. I’m so fortunate and grateful to be able to be here, and I’ll make sure that my gratitude does not go unnoticed. Thanks, Derek and Jeanine!!

Anyhow, I moved on to the third day of my forty-day journey through The Purpose-Driven Life, and it’s a long one! I went to Elevation this morning by myself, but it didn’t turn out to be that bad at all; Brandon had a great message about change and holding on to God. I also had a chance to have a pretty decent chat with a few other people there.

This latest chapter dealt with the motivation behind our lives. Warren suggests five sources of this motivation, and I must admit that I am driven by each one of them.. here they are:

Guilt. He says that people run from regrets, hide from shame, and allow the past to control the future. That, unfortunately, is a very, very accurate depiction of the way I live… I am always worrying about what I have done, and I avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. I brood over my errors, and they have a firm hold on my perception of the future.

Resentment and Anger. I’m known as a “bottle-boy” because I contain and repress a lot of emotions… I, as Warren says, internalize my anger. These negative emotions are not doing any good for me, and I need to start to live through forgiveness instead… certainly not very easily done, and this is something that I’ve noticed for.. a lot time, to say the least. I’ve grown to open up to a very select few people, but I don’t know how willing I will be to do that again..

Fear. Somewhat related to the notion of living out of guilt, this prevents me from doing a lot of things. It’s a “self-imposed prison”… I don’t want to leave my comfort zone which, quite often, is small. I like having control, so taking risks is something I am adverse to doing.

Materialism. I think that the vast majority of people fall victim to this.. it’s so hard not to in this kind of world; in this capitalist society, so much is done for the sake of having possessions… Hannah, one of my Embassy friends, recently let go of a lot of her material possessions, and I think that she has become a much more God-focused person because of it. I admire her ability to do that, only because I don’t think I can do something like that right now… while I’m probably not being asked to live as a hermit and rebuke all worldly belongings, I really don’t need a lot of the things that I do have and treasure.

Approval. Yep, this one got me, too. I’m very self-conscious, and I worry incessantly about what others think of me. Needless to say, it brings a lot of stress and excess baggage.

He goes on to write about the benefits of purpose-driven living, but I’m not going to talk about it here.. if you’re really interested in finding out, get the book!! 😛

Question to Consider: What would my family and friends say is the driving force of my life? What do I want it to be?

This one is a little tricky… I guess it really depends who is asked; I’m different to different people. This ties in with the whole approval bit, as different crowds seek different things. I know it’s really bad, and my inconsistencies will likely come back to haunt me. I also know that I am a very big hypocrit at times, maybe even to the point of lying. Too often do I say things that I really know is right and good, but I do not live out those things myself. It’s not a matter that I don’t want to live what I say I often do, but I just.. can’t. It’s not easy to be good all of the time… This reminds me of Romans, where Paul writes that he does all of the things that he does not want to do, despite knowing better. How weak is the flesh!!

So to answer the question, I suppose that the responses that I’d get would range from wealth, fame, personal satisfaction, and, hopefully, God. I’m sure there would be others, but I can’t really think of them right now. For the second part of the question, I think that it’s pretty clear what I want it to be.. I wouldn’t be reading the book and spending a lot of time with my faith if I wanted it to be something else. Deep down, I really, really want to be devoted to God. I dream of the day where I have completely given myself to Him.. letting go of the distractions in the world and living the life that He wants me to live. I wonder if I will ever attain the feats of humanitarianism that I want to see reached, or if I will find a way to do away with sin once and for all. As the Bible says: with God, anything is possible. I’ll just have to continue to trust Him and see where He will guide me, I guess!!

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