Planet earth is like a mother whose children have lost all sense of direction and all value in life

WE have all changed courses on this journey, and some think it may even be by accident. I had decided on the content of this week’s column long before it was due, but decided to change course because I believe someone is waiting on this message.
Dr Myles Munroe’s teaching has impacted my life and millions around, and even though he is no longer with us, his legacy reflects the life he lived.

I was re-reading the intro from the Pursuit of Purpose, and just know this excerpt will be the content for this week.

“Let me go. Please let me die,” sobbed the frail, old gentleman as the strong young swimmer struggled against the boisterous waves of the open ocean.

“Just a few more minutes, sir, and I will have you safely to shore,” replied the young man, gasping for every breath. Finally, they made it to the beach, and both fell, desperately exhausted, onto the sand.

“Why did you save me?” cried the angry 76-year-old man. “Why didn’t you let me die? Your good deed is the curse of my existence.”

Startled by these words, the young man looked down at the older man who had nearly drowned. As he panted from the heroic effort of rescuing the victim from the violent waves, he shook his head, revealing the shock and the mystification that filled his mind. Winston had known Mr Cambridge for 20 years. He had always admired the hard-working businessman for his success. To him, Mr Cambridge was a role model who embodied all he hoped to be someday. Having worked all his life to achieve the status of being the wealthiest man in the city, Mr Cambridge owned millions of dollars worth of investments and an enviable mansion on the beach front. He was the father of three well-educated children who all worked in his companies and the husband of a woman who loved him. Hundreds of friends, relatives and admirers looked to him for inspiration and guidance. Perplexed by the disparity between his observations of Mr Cambridge’s life and the gentleman’s desire to die, Winston asked, “But, sir, why do you want to die?” Little did Winston know that the answer to this question would change his life forever. (It may change yours as well.) As tears flooded his aged eyes, the old man buried his face in his hands and lamented, “What was it all for? Is this all there is? What did I gain? I have everything and yet nothing.

Everyone thinks I am a success, but I am a failure. I have given everything and received nothing. I made my parents happy and proud of me, and my wife has everything she could desire. My children want for nothing, and my reputation among my friends, associates and enemies is impressive. Still, I am empty, depressed, frustrated and sad. My life has no meaning. Unlike my bank accounts, which are well filled, I am unfulfilled. Everyone knows what I am, but I still don’t know why I am. For years I have been so driven by the expectations of others that I have not discovered my personal reason for being. I do not wish to live with such emptiness. Today I decided it was better to be dead than to be alive and not know why.”

These words pierced the younger man’s soul. As he attempted to regain his composure, the old man took his hand, looked into his eyes with a soul-searching gaze and said, “Son, do not strive to be like me. Find out who you are and be yourself.”

As the medics carried the old man away and the sound of the ambulance faded in the distance, young Winston stood staring out to sea. He was not really aware of his surroundings, for the old man’s words had stirred him deeply.

Who am I? What does it mean to be myself?” echoed in his brain. These questions—Who am I? Why am I here? Where did I come from? What was I born to do? What can I do? Where do I fit? Why am I different? What is my potential? Where am I going? Why did I come to this planet? These are universal questions that haunt every human being. Each of us must find the answers to these questions of purpose if we are going to enjoy a meaningful, effective, fulfilling life. Purpose is the key to life. Without purpose, life has no meaning. There are millions today, just like Mr Cambridge. They are busy making a living, but they experience very little of life. If your goal in life is to be wealthy so you can retire, you have embarked on a depressing journey to nowhere. If your vision for life is measured by status, your upkeep will be your downfall. Vision is buried in purpose. Without knowledge of purpose, life becomes an endless string of activities with little or no significance. Like a rider on a rocking horse, life without purpose makes much motion, but no progress.

A World Without Purpose
A lack of purpose and the impending tragedy that results from its absence is found not only in people, but in all things. When elements of nature lose their purpose, chaos and destruction are the results. When nations, societies, communities, organisations, friendships, marriages, clubs, churches, countries or tribes lose their sense of purpose and significance, then confusion, frustration, discouragement, disillusionment and corporate suicide—whether gradual or instant—reign. Purpose is the master of motivation and the mother of commitment. It is the source of enthusiasm and the womb of perseverance. Purpose gives birth to hope and instills the passion to act. It is the common denominator that provides every creature with an element of distinction.

This guiding sense of purpose is more than an orientation toward a goal. Rather, it is a deep awareness that a common vision encompasses all life and existence. Without this vision, we can only exist. We feel no passion for living, neither do we have a reason to wake up in the morning. Thousands of years ago, a king known as the wisest man who ever lived, stated, “Meaningless! Meaningless! … Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). This was his conclusion after years of observing man’s life, activities, plans and achievements apart from a sense of personal and corporate purpose. These words and their sad echo have returned to haunt us nearly 6,000 years later. We face a world that acts like a spaceship that has lost its flight plan. Planet earth is like a mother whose children have lost all sense of direction and all value in life. Globally speaking, everything is in motion. Mergers and acquisitions, deregulations and changing agencies of control, information technologies and international competition all alter the shape and thrust of our economies and the way we do business. Changing demographics, realigned industry structures, new strategic alliances, innovative technologies, unaccustomed modes of working and the volatility of stock markets demand a fresh approach to commerce.

Increasing competition, the shrinking of the world into one large global village, the move toward freer markets in former communist countries, and the proposed reality of the European Common Market alter the way we deal with the world and it deals with us. Many industrialised nations are being transformed into Third World states, as numerous people migrate from undeveloped nations.

Long-established ideologies are evaporating in the fires of revolutionary changes. Institutions long held sacred are crumbling under the weight of social pressure. In almost every nation, the situation is the same. There is political confusion, ideological frustration, social unrest, economic uncertainty, moral bankruptcy, institutionalised corruption and disillusionment with religion.

All inhabit an environment of fragile diplomacy. The world has become an incubator of stress, depression, hopelessness and fear. It seems that the kingdoms and the governments of this world are bankrupt. They no longer offer innovative solutions for these ever-increasing problems.”

Let’s look for the many nuggets in the content that is even more relevant now from this great legend as we continue to celebrate this beautiful journey called Life BEYOND THE RUNWAY.

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