28
Aug

“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.”

Marian Wright Edelman, Founder Children’s Defense Fund

Why are we here?

It is an interesting question that no one seems to know the answer to. Is our purpose in life just to survive for as long as we can and then die?

How do we know if our lives have been worthwhile or not? Have we somehow accomplished something that has justified the significant amount of earth’s resources that we have consumed?

Jesus in his ministry shared some things that we should do while we are here (love God and love your neighbor) but never explained to us a purpose for life.

What if that was intentional? If Jesus laid out a specific purpose in life, we would all
be competing with one another to be the most purposeful person on Earth.


Instead, Paul tells us in his first letter to the church in Corinth, that we are all different parts of the same body. We all do different things but should be in collaboration with others, who also do different things.

Instead, Paul tells us in his first letter to the church in Corinth, that we are all different parts of the same body. We all do different things but should be in collaboration with others, who also do different things.

So maybe it is up to each of us to define our roles, our unique purpose in life. I would argue that using your God-given gift for the benefit of others is a good place to start.

The Japanese have concept they call

Ikigai (pronounced ick-ee-GUY) which means “a reason for being.”

It is captured as a Venn diagram (remember your high school math?) and is an interesting way for us to think about our purpose in life and what we might strive for.

In this series of service posts, we have been discussing the three circles at the top – what we are good at, what we love, and what the world needs. That could form an ideal way of serving others with God’s love.

The Japanese add a circle for “What you can get paid for.” While we don’t require service to provide for our compensation, it is possible that your service can lead there.

Servicing others with our gifts can be an on-ramp for a new career path, if we choose to pursue it.

When we share our gifts, we provide something of value to others. Depending on what we are doing and who we are doing it for, that exchange of value can evolve from being an effort that makes us feel good to an effort that makes us feel good and provides some compensation.

Whether we pursue that or not, our service can become our purpose in life. It is what we do that provides value to others and value to us. Our sustained efforts in that area lead to a reputation and an expertise that the world needs and appreciates.

Your service can become your purpose and your legacy, your reason-for-being.

Doug Bate
Service Central

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