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Purpose and Essence

“Understanding what we do is not necessarily as important as how we do it.”

             —   David Alexander

Imagine for a moment that your life is a balloon. You can picture the most beautifully elegant balloon in the world. Or perhaps, you prefer the crazy one with the multitude of colors. Whichever one you picture is not important. The shape of the balloon is what is most critical. Is your balloon lying on a table or in your hand, waiting to be blown up? Maybe your balloon halfway blown up; or perhaps your balloon is plain air surrounding a small piece of latex. Or, is your balloon floating in the air with a beautiful ribbon trailing from them end?

The balloon you imagine is life itself. Without purpose and substance your balloon simply sits in your hand, waiting for an exciting future. With minimal substance and effort, the balloon is able to float for a few moments, maybe bounce from hand to hand, but it has no real direction. But with full effort, the balloon itself is able to hold the essence of life, the air, and give it direction and purpose.

Having purpose is not only important in life, it is critical to success. Without purpose, we simple move from one task to the other. There is no direction, no urgency, no comprehension. We are the air surrounding the balloon. That is not living, it is existing. Purpose gives meaning to our lives. However, purpose is not everything; it only offers a way to direct living. A balloon may offer purpose, but without the air inside it, there is no real direction. Without any real substance behind our actions, even when they appear purposeful, they are still meaningless.

We are called to live a purposeful life of great substance. That essence of who we are comes from the direction of our Father. He shapes us, giving us the direction and the purpose of our life. But, He also offers the spirit of life, the substance as well. We simply have to reach out and take hold of what He offers.

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