Sunday 20 October 2013

Have you found your purpose in life?

Last weekend, I attended a workshop called Life Purpose Planning. We were asked to write our Personal Mission Statement as part of the workshop and I was totally prepared for it - kinda. What's so hard about writing down something that's already been percolating in my head for so long?

The problem, as I wrote, was that my own dream was giving me palpitations. Not the excited-I-love-this-dream kind of palpitations, but the I'm-on-the-verge-of-a-panic-attack kind. And then when Uncle Sam prayed for me, what he said (probably paraphrased by now) was, "Stop scaling down your dreams."

What, my totally (to me) audacious prayer was scaled down?

Yes - because that was back in March, and on the first day of the workshop when I was scribbling notes to form my statement, I had drawn a little arrow which took me from Penang to Malaysia. And promptly forgot all about it, albeit a little purposefully.

I do this all the time because I cannot believe that I can do all the things I want to do. Half the time I'm not even sure I want to do all the things I want to do. Because bed + books + rain + anti-socialism = awesome introverted me. When I'm home alone on a weekend, I can go the whole day without saying anything at all. I don't feel the need to call anybody, talk to anybody, or even chat with anybody - and here I am writing out a Personal Mission Statement that, for one thing, talks about building community and uses the words facilitate and speak. 

And the thing I was just thinking of, which may be totally weird for all you super-go-getters and extroverts who chase all your dreams and never ever ever ever settle, is that I always ask for more, but settle for less.
Because I always settle. It's easier to say "this is enough" because I'm afraid of what more would entail, because I am more afraid of the sword of Anna than the sword of the Lord. And because, you know, bed. books. snuggling under the comforter. comfort. not having to think so hard. not having to think at all. books. I'm lazy -

and the life I'm choosing is one that is totally at odds with who I think I am.

During Encounter Weekend a gazillion years ago (well, maybe 10 - I'm not sure) I asked for boldness, and was told, "but you are so bold". But I'm not. I'm frightened. I'm a two year old kid wailing because it is scary. It's not even dark. It's just scary. I'm just good at pretending and hiding behind the anonymity of the web where I don't have to see you when I talk (or type) and I never have to press "publish" or "send" if I chicken out. But life can't be wholly lived out behind the computer screen.

Roughly translated, the song says:
You're my rock
You're my fortress
(I keep thinking of retaining walls, though, as a translation for benteng?)
I lay my future before You
In every thought
In every hope
I'm convinced You know what's best for me
Because You're the Almighty
You're God
I believe it's Your grace that strengthens me
Because You're mighty
You're the King
Nothing is impossible for You 
Except when I myself stand in the way.
Because it's me and yet it's not me, if you get what I mean. And yet it is the mountain I prayed for. And while I would rather not, at the same time, it's what pulls me and pushes me and inspires me. Don't worry if you're confused. I am too.

It's been many years in the making, but I think I've discovered my holy discontent. It's probably not news to you at this point of time. But as I look though my fireplace postings, there's a growing stream of evidence that it's been building, slowly but surely, noticeably.

So again and again, I say yes. Because what else is there to say?

AnugrahMu kepadaku / Your grace towards me
Tak pernah berubah / Has never changed
Perbuatan-Mu terlukiskan / Your works are written (etched?)
Didalam hatiku / In my heart
Tercengang ku dibuat-Mu / I'm astounded by Your works
Ku kagum pada-Mu / I marvel at who You are
Tak ada hal di hidupku yang luput dari-Mu / No detail of my life escapes from You 

Kau indah / You're wonderful (beautiful)
Kau mulia / You're glorious
Tiada seperti-Mu / There is none like You
Kuingin hidupku menyenangkan-Mu / I want my life to be pleasing to You

Kau terawal dan terakhir / You're the first and the last (Alpha & Omega)
Pencipta segalanya / Creator of all things
Seluruh bintang pun bersinar  / All the stars shine
Oleh ucapan-Mu / At Your word
Engkau pun mengasihiku / You love me
Penulis hidupku / The author of my life
Tak henti seg’nap nafasku menyembahMu selalu / I will never stop worshipping You

Kupuji / I praise 
Kusembah / I worship
Tiada seperti-Mu / There is none like You
Kuingin hidupku menyenangkan-Mu / I want my life to be pleasing to You

S'gala puji / All praise
S'gala hormat / All honour
Seg'nap hatiku menyembah-Mu / I worship You with all my heart
Terimalah seg'nap hidupku / Accept my life
S'bagai persembahan yang hidup / As a living sacrifice

Bukan kehendakku / Not my will
Namun kehendak-Mu / But Your will
Hidupku bagi-Mu / I live for You
Kau indah / You're wonderful (beautiful)
Kau mulia / You're glorious
Kuingin hidupku menyenangkan-Mu / I want my life to be pleasing to You


  1. the end, did you find your purpose?

  2. Wonderful post, Anna. Makes me wonder how far I am on the road to achieving my purpose in life.

    1. Thanks Joy!

      May be time to re-evaluate and recalibrate?

  3. I'm still trying to figure it out....but hope I'm heading in the right direction ^.^