By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Be Rudderless No More

Human beings, I am convinced, are hard wired for a plan of life and a plan for life. Otherwise, we remain rudderless, lost, and, as Emerson said long ago, living in quiet desperation--with hearts and passions unengaged. The difference is easy to see in the lives of people in their twenties. On the one hand, I can see a college student who is obviously intently pursuing some career or field of study. He or she is alive with purpose. On the other hand, I see another student or recent graduate with a face cast in low-grade despair working a mundane job without hope, without seeing this job, however mundane, as a stepping stone to something more fulfilling. Yet, even in those who are rudderless and "planless," I see the beautiful and innate joy of life (the joie de vivre) which God has implanted in all human beings. Yet, that joy is intermittent and transient because there is no meaning or purpose in life that consistently captures and engages the heart and its passion for the rudderless person.

I believe this rudderless existence is why we see so much silly frivolity--strange, "shock" fashion, sexual hookups, excessive body markings and piercings, running from rock concert to rock concert, even trying to fill in the void in life with capricious travel or relocation plans, anything to give the sense of living life with a purpose without actually having a meaningful purpose or plan.

Now, of course, the problem is not just the fundamental divide of those with no plan and those with a plan. There are plenty of sociopaths with plans. The first step is to experience the abundantly affirming love of God the Father who made you for a particular mission. The next step is to ask the Father to reveal and confirm your passion, your calling for life. The final step is to jump or leap into the hands of the Father and follow that divinely confirmed passion regardless of the daunting obstacles. The rest is your life with meaning and purpose, not aimlessly killing the hours and days in quiet, eccentric desperation. The passionate life is the meaningful, yes purpose-driven, life. Grab it and run. But first get to know Abba, your Father, so that your plan does not destroy you.