Have you ever thought about why you do what you do? We humans do a lot of things. We are fully capable of busying ourselves and accomplishing many feats. Yet, we all have the same amount of hours in a day, the same amount of days in a month, and the same amount of months in a year. And none of us know how many more years we have. In spite of that, the question to focus on is not how much time we have, but how we spend that time.
I love a particular quote by John Bevere from his book Driven by Eternity, which goes something like this: “For the believer, the question is not about where you will spend eternity. For the believer, the question is about how you will spend eternity.” The same is true for this life on earth (which I believe is actually part of eternity). The question is not so much about where you will spend your life, but it is about how you will spend your life. We all are given the individual choices of how we will spend our time. It is up to us how we choose to spend that time. Show me how you spend your time, and I’ll show you what’s driving your life.
Is there a purpose behind what you’re doing? Recently, I was reading a book by my friend Brandon Ryan entitled The Emotional Struggle. In this book, Brandon includes a chapter dedicated to the importance of dreams—not dreams in the night, but dreams of purpose, vision, and planning for the future. He asks the readers what their dreams are. When I was reading that question, I really had to think hard to align my thoughts with the dreams in my life. What things was I doing that were aligned with the ultimate dreams God had given me? I had to think for a while to answer that question.
The reason is because I found myself caught up in doing so many things that it seemed more like I was randomly taking stabs in the dark, rather than purposefully aiming and shooting at a specific target. If I didn’t step back and think about why I was doing what I was doing, I would have been in danger of losing sight of my purpose. The way I see it, humans have two choices—either to take stabs in the dark or to aim directly at the target.
Let me put it simply. To lose sight of your dreams is to lose sight of your purpose. To lose sight of your purpose is to lose meaning for life. To lose meaning for life is to go through the motions. And to go through the motions is to live a selfish life.
That’s right. Going through the motions is selfishness. Some may think that pursuing their own dreams is selfish. But that’s actually not true. Pursuing your dreams is actually quite selfless (that is, if you’re pursuing the dreams God has given you). I’m not talking about self-promoting dreams for fame or fortune. I’m talking about true, legitimate dreams from God. In this case, the most selfless thing you can do is pursue the dreams God has given you. To not pursue those dreams is to selfishly hoard what God has given you, rather than to release it to those who need to experience the benefits of that dream.
With that in mind, what are your dreams? What is your purpose? It’s time to think deeply about why you do everything you do. Pray about how to answer these questions. Everything that does not contribute in some way to your calling and your purpose needs to be cut out of your life. Point blank. The more clutter there is in your life, the more the clutter will distract and hinder those things that actually do contribute to your purpose. Get rid of the extra baggage. “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your life to the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Ps. 37:4–5).