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Living NOT on purpose

I am not a detailed planner by nature, as most of you have figured out by now. One of the frustrations for Mary Kay is that I just figure out what I need to do “in the moment.” This is because she is a detailed planner and desires to have contingencies thought through long before any of them are even a possibility.  

I would rather have a big plan for the future and then handle the challenges as they come. 

So is that living not on purpose? I don’t think so. I continue to learn a lot about myself each year that I live.

I have come to be aware that I have been fairly passive over the past couple of years. I think I have slipped into a more reactive lifestyle. Which is interesting. As I discussed it with MK, she asked if I was depressed. I said no because that carries such a clinical and overused meaning. I simply think I was listless because of too few challenges in my life. With few challenges, I find myself simply checking out.

I wonder if this is what men in retirement demonstrate. They seem to check out, that is until they go out on the golf course!

Recently, however, I have been waking up earlier, I have more energy and am more engaged in my relationship with Mary Kay and others. I find myself with much more mojo in all that I do. Why?

I, again, think this is some of what Peter is referring to in Acts 2 as he quotes Joel that “old men will dream dreams” once they are in-dwelt with the Spirit. The Spirit challenges again the minds of old men who have disengaged from life. It is obvious that only a Spirit-driven passion, as Peter describes, can again enliven men (and women).  It is too easy for older people to just settle into maintaining the status quo. 

I wonder if some of this is related to the lowering levels of testosterone. Testosterone drives men to accomplish more and take on challenges they may otherwise pass on. So as testosterone drops, the man’s desire to prove himself and/or engage in activities that are stretching also drops. They no longer feel the need to prove themselves or stretch to accomplish difficult things, so they settle into a routine of maintenance.  

I also wonder if my issues of falling into a maintenance mindset results from simply no longer accepting my Spirit-led role as a catalyzer. I am hard-wired as that kind of a person. As I have written elsewhere, I love starting things that haven’t been tried before, or at least haven’t been tried the way I want to try it. That is my wiring, and I gain energy and become alive as I pursue this kind of activity.  Sometimes we get tired of trying things and hearing people say, “That is foolish” or “Why try that now”; so we just settle down into a more sedentary lifestyle. We wear down.

However, as the Spirit works in me, I am again reminded of his wiring of me and his call on my life. His call surely has seasons, but it is a lifelong call. 

So why am I finding I have so much more energy recently?  Why, during my waking hours, am I more excited about life? Why am I more engaged with everyone around me?

I know it is due to me pursuing a vision again for our lives. As I evaluate my desires, motives, thoughts, and emotions, I find that I am excited about where Mary Kay and I are headed. I have a vision, a dream about which I am passionate. This dream has enlivened my spirit, and I believe it is aligned with The Spirit of God. 

We are now building a new home outside of Greenville, South Carolina. We are going to leave Orlando, which has been our home for more than 36 years. It is the only place our kids and grandkids have known. Mary Kay and I are fully aware of the myriad of details that need to be covered before this becomes a reality. Well…okay, Mary Kay is aware of the myriad of details; I will “build the bridge as we walk on it.”  But together, we will begin a new season of ministry and life. 

Again, I am excited about being used by God to change the lives of people there in a different way than we have been doing here.  It is part of my wiring, and I feel I am again walking in his Spirit to dream dreams for Him. 

Pray for us. Pray more for Mary Kay.






2 responses to “Living NOT on purpose”

  1. Marsha Anderson Avatar

    So exciting! The possibilities are endless-Can’t wait to watch this new season for you guys unfold!

  2. Thomas Phillips Avatar
    Thomas Phillips

    Nice work, and congratulations on the upcoming house building adventure.

    Re: “planning.”
    Irene had it written onto the back of our marriage license that I have no authorization to make ad hoc appointments for myself.
    Every now and again I try, but…

    I think after a certain period of adjustment and shift in how my time is spent after I retired, yes there is a new energy and focus on trying to find what the Lord has planned for me. I’ve not necessarily sorted it out as yet, but it becomes a little clearer every day.

    More to come…


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