Monday, February 25, 2008

Finding Meaning In Life

Last week I received the following response to one of my daily thoughts.

I used to have to "find meaning" in everything when I was running away from a painful reality that I couldn't or wouldn't deal with. In other words, by staying in a painful reality I lost sight of my own integrity. (Integrity means the reason that something was created i.e. its proper use.) I lost sight of the "ordinary" meaning of everything and sought to exaggerate it because I lost the meaning of my own existence. Once I faced the pain of my reality head on and I learned to live in my own integrity I never again felt a need to distort the integrity of "everything" by "needing to find meaning" but rather I saw things the way the really were and in doing so humbly accepted God.

This comment was in response to a statement I made about my need to find meaning in everything. I think my friend's response is very powerful. If I understand her correctly, she is saying that if we are living the lives we are meant to live, we wouldn't have to search for meaning in them. The meaning should be obvious. I think she makes a lot of sense. If our lives or our work seem meaningless, what does that say about our lives or what we do? I think the idea of finding meaning in our lives and work is very much tied up with whether or not we experience joy in our lives and work. Without meaning there is probably no joy. Without joy, can there be any meaning? Are you happy in your relationships? Which ones are working for you and which ones are not? Do you feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment in what you do? Why or why not? If there is joy in your life, where is it? Where is it not? What is that telling you? These are tough questions and the answers can be a real wake up call. Depending on the answers, what action is required of you?

I didn't make it to Parent's Day at the seminary on Saturday. Why? Well, I was in an automobile accident on Friday night. I did something stupid and another driver plowed into me. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt although a young boy got the scare of his life and his mother was very angry at me. My car is probably going to be OK but it's can't be driven at the moment. I'm very grateful that it wasn't worse than it was. I am also very grateful I was alone since it was the passenger side of my car that was hit. I am extremely grateful that Chloe wasn't with me. Less than an hour before the accident I was having dinner with Chloe and her father.

After the events of Friday night, it was nice to have Chloe over on Saturday night. I woke up Sunday with her poking me in the nose. We got up and went downstairs. She helped me make coffee, we ate some Honey Nut Cheerios and discussed why the bee on the package was wearing shoes and then we went into the living room where we watched some "Clifford, the Big Red Dog" cartoons.

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