Last night, I finally fulfilled one of the things my brother always wanted me to: I finished reading Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life. He gave this to me years ago when he first converted to Christianity, and though I had gotten three-quarters of the way through it, I stopped at some point because I got frustrated with messages that conflicted with what I thought was “right.” After his passing, I decided that I would finally not only finish reading it, but re-read it from start to finish as though I’d never read it before. So one chapter a day as it guides you to do, I read it before bed.
A few things still conflict with what I believe. There’s one chapter when I got really upset in which Warren says everything bad in your life happens “for a purpose.” There’s a reason for it to happen, and it will make your life better. I was so infuriated by reading this because of course, my first thought was, are you telling me that my brother taking his own life will somehow make my life better? How could that possibly be real?! I felt so much pain reading that chapter that I almost stopped reading it again.
But at the end of it, I actually felt a little bit more fulfilled then I thought I would. A lot of great ideas are in it that I want to go back and reread and reference in my Bible that Ed gave me, but the final chapter is kind of the sticking point. Its theme is “living on purpose.” That basically means that everything we do in our life, big or small, should be done for a reason that will serve why we are here on this earth. Will this make me a happier person? Will this help me serve God better? Living on purpose is the only way to live… because if we do not do this, it’s like we are just aimless vagabonds wandering through life, not knowing why or how or what… or anything.