Knowing Your Life Purpose Can Help You Overcome Problems and Pain

I recently ran across this quote from Rick Warren from several years ago, when his wife was diagnosed with cancer.  Warren is the author of the New York Times Bestseller The Purpose Driven Life.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is “my problem, my issues, my pain.” But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

A couple of thoughts came to my mind when I read this quote.

1. Many people have pain and problems in their lives because they, or someone they love, have rejected, ignored or shirked their life’s purpose.  Example:  a man who doesn’t keep his commitments and fulfill his responsibilities as a husband and father causes pain for himself and his entire family.

2. Knowing and pursuing your life’s purpose gives you meaning and direction in life.  You have a target to aim for.  You know the score.  Because you know where you’re going, you’re not easily swayed by people, things (like cancer), or situations that seek to defeat you or pull you in another direction.

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