The Power of Purpose
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"...And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'" -- from the 1st book of Kings, chapter 19
When Elijah focused on his own strength, his knees got weak, his hand began to tremble and his heart melted away. But as long as he kept his vision focused on his mission, he was filled with vitality and confidence and did miraculous things.
Where is your vision focused?
I have endured much questioning about The Quixote Collection at Tuscan Hall. People say, "Wasn't Don Quixote a delusional madman and a laughingstock? Why would you be taken with such a one?"
Here is my answer. As long as Don Quixote's heart was filled with Dulcinea he overcame impossible odds. It was only after his friends convinced him Dulcinea did not exist that his heart shriveled within him.
Each of us needs Dulcinea, a sense of mission and purpose. For without it, there can be no adventure.
An itinerant preacher from Nazareth said, "If your vision is focused, your whole body will be full of light. But if your vision is unfocused, the light that is in you will be darkness. And if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" One of the ways Mathew 6:22 can be interpreted is this: "If a mission consumes you, your life will be filled with optimism, creativity and stamina. But if no purpose fills your heart, the echo of its emptiness will fill your mind with a mournful song."
I believe that millions flounder and whine and are depressed because they refuse to sell their lives to something bigger than they are. They are sad because they have no purpose. Stephen Crane spoke of the power of purpose this way:
A man saw a ball of gold in the sky;
Passage 35 from The Black Riders and Other Lines (1895)
Your heart, my friend, is the size of a stadium. If you try to fill it with small things -- a new car, a vacation, a promotion at work, a bigger home, a stock portfolio-- a mournful echo will fill your life. But if you fill your stadium with all of humanity and search for ways to make their lives better each day, you will find yourself in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing in the right way. Serendipity will come to stay.
Do you have a purpose outside yourself?
Are you climbing for a ball of gold?
-- Roy H. Williams
"One man, scorned and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this." - Don Quixote
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