A Word on Wednesday: Purpose

Purpose is word that gets thrown around a lot. Lately, I’ve been struggling with what is my purpose. In a Christian sense, my purpose is to love God and live out his will. I wonder, endlessly, how that translates to the secular world. And, for the purpose of this blog, what the word means and how can I get to the truth of it in word and deed.


I am not so cynical to let the New Year pass, without reflection on goals, resolutions. As I age, many goals have been met. I have made peace with my body; I have faith, health, family, career, and happiness. Yet, I pursue something more, purpose.

We have learned through Maslow’s hierarchy, we begin with physiological needs; we build to safety, love & belonging, and esteem. At the tippy top of the pyramid is self actualization or fulfillment. A triangle of exorbitance to consider.

This is where I turn to purpose.

Purpose, as a noun, is the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc; an intended or desired result, end, aim, goal. Something can be done with purpose, determination; resoluteness. Purpose is the subject at hand, the point of an issue. It is a practical result, effect, or advantage.

In objects, purpose is easy to see. A pizza cutter exists for a singular use, purpose. In people, it is far less straightforward.

An English idiom is “on purpose” translating to by design or intentionally.

The word purpose derives from Middle English purpos from Old French derivative of purposer and a varian of proposer to propose.

Presumable, prior to this time, people didn’t have the luxury to naval gaze about such lofty questions. Maybe it was a simpler time, maybe it was a harder time. Today, though, where I live, purpose is the main void, the thought with which I grapple, the intangible which I seek to define.

In short, purpose is the point. The overall reason for life, for activity, for something other busyness. This year, my goal, my resolution, is to explore purpose with purpose. My aim is to understand if my time spent is purposeful or just pastime.

I backslide to the esteem rung on Maslow’s ladder of needs. Am I doing enough? And what is enough? That word was a self-help buzzword of 2018. Next week, I’ll explore enough and what it means for me for 2019.

One Comment on “A Word on Wednesday: Purpose

  1. Pingback: A Word on Wednesday: Significant – Words, Crazy Words

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