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What am I Living For? and Other 2007 Thoughts

January 2nd, 2007 by Jason · 8 Comments

Ask me not where I live
or what I like to eat….
Ask me what I am living for
and what do I think is keeping me
from living fully for that
—Thomas Merton

I came across that quote toward the beginning of last year and I think I may make it a tradition to reflect upon it at the beginning of the new year. Reflecting upon the “big picture” of who I am becoming over the course of months and years is not my strong suit. I am much more apt at focusing on the current day and hour. So, if the new year provides a reminder to me to stop and reflect upon the big picture of both my past and future, all the better.

What do I hope to live for this next year? What kind of person am I hoping to become? Here is one new mantra: “failure is an option!” My fear of failure has kept me awake too many nights worrying about some project or another. Fear of failure makes me less apt to take chances, take a risk, try something new. Heck, it took me six months of worrying just to decide if I wanted to try out a move to a new city.

Another hope is that I’ll become a more compassionate person this year. That’s a virtue I didn’t hear much about growing up, but it jumped out all over the place when I was reading Luke’s gospel (“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” [Luke 6:36], Jesus felt compassion for the widow of Nain [Luke 7:13], etc.).  Of course compassion seems like such a nebulous idea.  I plan to read Nowen’s book, Compassion, but if others have recommendations I’d like to hear them.

I’m sure I’ll live for other things as well this next year, but if make some progress in the two things above 2007 will be a  good year.

Tags: life · theology

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Andy Bardwell // Jan 5, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Jason – great reminders. BTW, you might find any of the Dalai Lamas’ books, as he writes a lot about compassion:
    The Heart of Compassion by Dalai Lama;
    The Dalai Lama: A Life of Compassion

  • 2 Glenn’s Journey » Blog Archive » What I am living for? // Jan 8, 2007 at 5:09 am

    [...] [via] [...]

  • 3 Jason // Jan 11, 2007 at 9:20 am

    Thanks Andy, I’ve added those to my to-read list.

  • 4 Darien // Jul 31, 2008 at 8:21 am

    try Bukowski lately?
    Born into this,like this…....

  • 5 desiree tolliver // Aug 18, 2008 at 8:12 am

    i beleive im the woman at the well guilty of sin when jesus came to the well

  • 6 Don Marchant // Aug 23, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Jason—John Eldredge’s “Journey of Desire” is the most impactful book I’ve read in a long time, except of course for the Bible. I’m on my third read, and still seeing new stuff! There are verses in the Word I understand better because of Eldredge. God’s personal love for me is more real to me, and more effective in elevating my prayer life than I can describe or explain. I’m more convinced than ever that while the Bible will always be the standard and the prime builder of everything we will know and cherish about God and our relationship with him, books by others who hold the Bible in highest esteem are used by the Lord to teach us where the gold is.

  • 7 Don Marchant // Sep 26, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Jesus has the answer to the question, “What am I living for?” He invites us to believe in him, which means trust in him, fully. We all need someone to trust in. We all know life is empty if we live it for ourselves. We yearn for a cause to live for. We know life is not what it’s supposed to be. All this is because of the fact that the whole world is messed up. Nothing we experience is quite what it’s supposed to be. Unless we decide to live for God himself. Then the whole Bible comes into focus. Jesus enters our lives by his Spirit. We are still not satisfied with this life on earth, but we know we have a future that is perfect, in Jesus, with God, forever. So we learn about worship. Worship is consciously looking into the heart of God, who is here with you, and making him the center of your life. Why not? Why not live for God. He alone is righteous, perfect. My life is full. I love others because I know that’s what God wants me to do. They don’t have to be perfect. I’m not either. Forgiveness and acceptance come naturally, because our hearts are changed. The Bible says so. And when we decided to accept Jesus, we became his. Ephesians 1:13,14.

  • 8 mohit tewari // Sep 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    sometimes many questions arise in my mind that who i am ,why i am living ,is god realy exist i don,t know and if there is any god then who has created him .
    we all are living but no one cares about these questions every one is busy in his own life . but i always think if some one can answer my question .
    i have many questions in my mind …......................................................but there is no one to answer those questions