Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Is it possible for this blog to be lacking exactly what it’s about?!? Hmmm….I suppose we’ll leave that one up to you to decide….

The power of a purpose. Have you ever thought about it? I hadn’t really given it much thought until it came into play for me tonight, and then I overanalyzed it (as I tend to do with topics that turn into some of my best blogs—in my opinion. Those blogs that are about those one word concepts or ideas or topics. i.e. politics, honesty, religion, assuming, sarcasm). So tonight it’s purpose.

Wow, the more I laid on my bed tonight and thought about it in depth, the more I realized that a purpose is the underlying power in SO much that we do, and honestly, I don’t think we consciously note the actual purposes that often. Or maybe it's that we do, but so quickly forget them. It’s almost like if we recognize it once, we know that the behavior or circumstance or situation has “credentialing” and we can go on once again without noting the “purpose” for the actions.

Let me start with the situation that brought about my “purpose thinking” this evening. Okay, so I had been planning for a little less than a week now to go to Abilene for tomorrow (Thursday) and stay until around 1 or 1:30 PM on Friday then coming home. My purpose being to surprise my good friend Laura and offer support as she was scheduled to undergo surgery on her broken finger tomorrow. I must also note that this brilliant idea came from my buddy Becca! So, I had been using this “mission to Abilene” as a motivational tool for getting through a lot of my homework these past couple days; viewing my trip to Abilene as a reward to follow my hard work.

So, all week Becca has been my amazing P.I. getting the scoop from Laura about when and stuff on her surgery. Well tonight Becca informs me that Laura is having some insurance complications and so she isn’t sure when her surgery will be tomorrow, if she even gets to have it. So, I decide to call Laura and try to get more details from her (realizing she is unaware of my “purpose” for calling and wanting her surgery details).

Well, to make a long story short, Laura’s surgery has been moved to Friday, (and to save a long story, I won’t be able to stay in Abilene on Friday because I have to get back to the Metroplex for something I already have scheduled for that night), so I wasn’t going to be able to go to Abilene for my “purpose” (to go with Laura for her surgery).

So, after getting off the phone I drilled myself, “So, do I still go to Abilene? It’s just for a little over a 24 hour stay. Do I still have another ‘purpose?’” Now, don’t think I didn’t already have the rest of my time in Abilene already planned out: leave a note on Ellison’s car to scare her because I know she would recognize my handwriting and be like, “Smith is in town?!?!”; randomly show up at Walker’s apartment that she has begged me to come see (and I’m tired of being called a “ho” for not going and seeing her); go watch GATA play waterball; go chill with my FAVORITE ACU library worker, Becca; then Friday, Praise Day in chapel, and possibly GATA lunch (depending on where it was at). So yes, I had other plans, but no other real “purpose.” So wanting to avoid homework more of course, and wanting to “take a vacation”, I so wanted another “purpose” to arise.

I flirted with the idea of calling my sister and telling her I would come take her to lunch tomorrow and take her grocery shopping and that kinda stuff. I was like, “that could be my purpose. To spend time with my sister.” But let’s face it, that was a “made-up purpose.” One that someone makes-up in an effort to “rationalize” with them self that they have a “purpose.”

So, I came to the conclusion while on my bed that I didn’t have another “true” purpose that would out-weigh my purposes to stay home (i.e. to save money and to get more homework finished).

So, lying on my bed, not really in a good mood I thought more about purpose. And that’s when the deeper thoughts on purpose came….

Purpose in life. Yes, I’ve always claimed to be fully aware of my purpose in life. It is written at the top of this blog if you’ve never noticed: “The 4 L’s: Learn, Labor, Laugh, and Love.” Yes, I still call this my purpose and still believe it. But it sometimes doesn’t answer my other “purpose” questions.

Oh how easy it is to lose track of our purpose on things. I used to question “how can anyone possibly contemplate the idea of suicide?” And the idea of going through with it I couldn’t even begin to fathom. But over the past year I’ve begun to realize what could bring people to think those types of thoughts. I won’t say I’ve ever considered suicide, but I have had times now that I can honestly say "I can understand why people might view it as a choice." I still can fathom doing it, but I’ve had times when I’ve been thinking things totally out and doing the “weighing the options thingy” and thinking out EVERY possible option and so the idea of just not having to deal with any of it anymore (I suppose suicide) was something I thought “well that would be AN option, but not really A option.” (I know you read that thinking, “Stupid, the correct grammatical word is “an”—which you’re right, but reread it and maybe you’ll see what I was trying to get across with it—gotta love the power of words! Also, you'll understand it better if you pronouce "A" as exactly how you say that letter of the alphabet and not by pronouncing "uh". HA!) So, enough of this suicide talk, how about religion! :)

Awww….the purpose of religion. There is both, “the purpose of religion” and “religion’s purpose.” ;) Many people enjoy the latter. Oh how so many people use religion as their purpose for living. In many cases, it IS people’s “purpose in life.” Many people devote their whole being to religious beliefs; they let it control their thoughts, behaviors, choices, etc. [Note: I want to make it clear, yes, right now in the middle of this paragraph, that I am not condemning or even depicting this choice of life in a negatively fashion or badly. I don’t want it to come off that way. Please be aware of that.]

So if that’s the latter, the first is what? Well, honestly, I don’t think I can answer that one. I honestly don’t know if anyone can answer it for someone else. I don’t even know if it is the same for all the people amidst the same religious affiliation or not. I honestly don’t know, nor do I know if a lot of people know. But I will say this, about the most I can contribute when I pair the two words together (purpose and religion) is this: my struggle with religion comes down to just that, it’s purpose.

As I think I made myself clear, I don’t know the purpose of religion. I’ll freely admit I have never been baptized and when the thought of baptism does cross my mind, I often find myself thinking, “But your ‘purpose’ for being baptized is not the right ‘purpose.’” Yes, don’t think I haven’t thought the typical thoughts like: “Well, if there DOES end up to be a God, and Heaven really exists, at least you will have been baptized JUST in case” or the “Honestly, even if you don’t believe in the whole religion hoopla, you can fake it, get baptized, and folks will ‘get off your back,’ it ain’t like they will honestly know if you’re faking your belief,” or (the one I’ve thought about recently) “Okay, so you know if there IS a Heaven, ‘so-and-so’ is going to be there, and if you ever want to see or talk to ‘so-and-so’ again, you best be getting baptized.” So, these thoughts cross a person’s mind, and that is where the power of “purpose” sticks its ugly little face in. Are any of these “thoughts” in accordance with the biblical “purpose” behind baptism? No (and even I know that). The purpose of baptism is to confess that you believe Jesus is the Son of God and that you want to devote your life to Him. Hmm, no where in any of those “thoughts” did I seem to express that “belief.” So, as any halfway bible reader (or in my case, person having grown up in the church) would know, anyone who would get baptized with the purpose in mind of those “thoughts” would be doing the baptism “in vain” (AKA baptism nullified).

So, where I was going with that paragraph? I don’t know (maybe just tying my thoughts on purpose and religion together, who knows?) Anyways, the power of a “purpose” is unbelievable if you ask me. But if you still aren’t sure, ask yourself why you do most the things you do in life. I bet you’ll find that some “purpose” is lingering about that is powering your behaviors!

1 comment:

Holly said...

Excellent post - One part made me laugh too. ha ha. (I'll tell you later). Also, the suicide part - I am glad someone out there actually see's how some people can think it's a legitimate escape. It's hard for normal people to fathom an instance they themselves haven't experienced. But anyway, you are right - sometimes we don't readily think of what our puposes are behind even the simplest things we do.

On the baptism part, I think many people think those exact thoughts you have mentioned - and I think whether or not it is "nullified," or whatever, is really determined by God - not man, of course.

However, I do believe those examples you gave are definately the wrong reasons to get baptised - baptism is a bond between you and Jesus. After all, one cannot just give Him a promise ring!

When I myself got baptised, I did not tell anyone except the people performing it, and I did it in private specifically for the reason of not making it a "public show" to please man (and not that there's anything wrong with public baptism either - but for me, in my circumstances, after arguing with people about baptism, I thought private secrecy was the best thing in order to not seem as if I were doing it to just "shut them up" - in fact, I still don't think I have told some of those people I got baptised!) - Some time before then, I disagreed with baptism - but then I came to believe that "yes, the Bible does say it is necessary (even though, actually, the Bible says two completely different things in my opinion) - and I believe in Jesus and in the Bible - and if that's what Jesus wants of me then I need to do it regardless of the differences I saw between C of C and Baptist congregations beliefs." To sum it up: I would have never subjected myself to baptism if I didn't believe in Christ. To me, that IS empty. I personally believe one should "believe" in Him first before committing such a personal act. Still, I am unsure of what I think about those claims that "you can't go to Heaven unless you're baptised"... I'm still processing that one.

Also, from an alternative perspective, not all of us are ready to be baptised when we're born - when we're 25 - or even when we're 60 - Jesus comes into our awareness, if you are willing, when the time is right - and that is the time baptism is right - and it may not be right right now or even twenty years from now. But that's my opinion. Wow - anytime people write something in relation to religion ya know there's gonna be a long comment from me at the bottom!

Great work, once again, my friend! You are a natural novelist! :)