Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Beyond Trivial Pursuit

"Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe." - Robert Service

How many times have we heard it said that we lose sight of the forest for the trees. It seems so easy in this image conscious world to lose sight of what is really important. We are constantly inundated with the superficial and the shallow, and if we are not careful, life ends up becoming less about purpose and more of a pursuit of the trivial. Somewhere along the way we must obtain the ‘purpose’ or sense of direction of our lives. We must forge out the answer to the question ‘what are we here for’? Yet, it seems, we are so easily distracted by little nuances and the mirages life’s petty lures. In the ‘to and fro’ of our swaying, we lose track of the true intent of life itself and fall under the manipulating barrage of societies impulses and tendencies. We turn mole hills into mountains and mountains into mole hills. We major in minors and minor in majors. Life is consumed with the he said and the she said's and valuable time slips away into eternity never to be had again.

Think about it. Before we are hardly out of bed and have awakened from a peaceful sleep, we are pounced upon by outside forces. Each force vying for our attention. Each entity telling us what is important and what is not important. The shout from the outside immediately steps into our morning stretch and demands our full attention. From the weather to apparel, food to money, buy here and go there, the voices cry out for our touch. If we are not careful the multitude of distractions can easily beguile us into losing our sense of direction. The scripture says in Proverbs that a man who is given to appetite might as well put a knife to his throat. Why? Because when our appetites rule us they lead us to places we never intended to go. When we are given to appetite we are more easily manipulated into doing things we would never do if we were more assured of our purpose. In the end we become enslaved by the very things we sought to possess!

In our haste to ‘find’ happiness we give over to momentary indulgences only to be left even more empty than before we caved in to the justification of it all. Our life is far more than appetites and true liberty comes with this understanding. We must be honest with ourselves! How many times, after the chase, do we have to end up with empty hands and hurting hearts? How many distractions do we have to fall for before we wake up and see the whimsical ways of our appetites? How many times do we have to get off the beaten path of true purpose and die the death of many regrets? How many times must we be lied to before we are finally compelled to restrain our own appetites of deception? How many times do we have to empty our shoes before we truly climb with a sense of purpose?

Then again, maybe here in lies the real problem. Without meaning in life, life has no meaning! Seneca said, “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” So now begs the question. What harbor are you sailing for? What is or are your goals? What IS important to you? When you are healed, in body and mind, what is YOUR purpose? Today, stop the noise from without and seek some answers from within. Silence the critics and voices of manipulation with a firm resolve to empty your shoes and turn aside for a higher look up the mountain, you may be surprise what you see up there!

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