The band Switchfoot has a song titled “Meant to Live”, and the lyrics go: We were meant to live for so much more/Have we lost ourselves?/Somewhere we live inside/Somewhere we live inside/We were meant to live for so much more. Have you ever felt that way? Like you were meant to live for so much more?

About 34 years ago, I was involved in a life changing “event.” Kema and I were driving on Hwy680 thru Walnut Creek late one nite and we saw an accident where another car crashed into the center divider. We pulled over to see if we could help, and as I was assisting the driver of the wrecked car, I was struck by another car traveling at about 60 MPH. Needless to say, I was pretty wracked up. When I was released from the hospital a week or so later, the doc advised me I was lucky to be alive and that I should have died from such an impact. Let me tell you, to hear a comment like that sends chills down your spine. And I didn’t take that comment lightly. In fact, as I couldn’t work and was recuperating for the next 6 mos, I decided to (or at least attempt to) figure out what life really was all about. Were we meant to live for so much more? And if so, how do we find what we were meant to live for? Or, what the heck is our purpose in life?

As I was pondering this monumental question, it occurred to me that there really are only three choices for us to have as our purpose in life (although there are many “sub-topics” under each):  ourselves, the “world”,  or (g)God. If we were to choose ourselves (and just for yuks, let’s place family and friends in here, too), we have to realize that our lives are limited to what our minds can conjure up and comprehend. So, if that is true, would it mean that smarter folks have a deeper purpose in life than, well, us who are “less smart”? Plus, the fact is, not only will/does family and friends let us down, we will do the same!

If we are to choose the “world”, that can mean any number of things or other people. First of all, there hasn’t been one thing humankind has invented, built, or discovered that hasn’t, or isn’t, failing. Everything (inanimate) becomes outdated, out of style, or broken. Just look take a look around.

The “world” could also include some of the great philosophers thru out history, or that are around today. But, and correct me if i am mistaken, they, too, are human and would fall under the above catagory. Yes, many can add insight to our lives, but ultimately they, too, are limited in their comprehension of life. They don’t know us and can only give insight as to where they have been and experienced in their lives. And that may have nothing to do to who we really are inside.

That brings us to (g)God. I put the “g” as an alternative since one definition of a “god” would be anything that is the most important thing in our lives. With that being said, shouldn’t our purpose in life actually be the most important thing in our lives? Shouldn’t our purpose be based on something/someone that knows us, know our heart and will never let us down, no matter what and that we can rely on 100% of the time?

I truly believe we ALL have a specific purpose in our lives. I also believe that if we don’t look for it, or if we lose sight of it, our lives can become hopeless. The journey really is the best part of the destination.

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Is time flying, or is it just me? It seems like the nation just voted Obama for president, but here we are having another presidential election in just over two months. Now hang on, I’m not going to try to sway you to vote for one or the other (or the other, for that matter). We all have our political point of views and there really is no use in smacking that dead horse anymore.

For those of you who know me, you probably already realize I am a fairly “black and white” type of guy. If I say a situation out loud and it doesn’t make sense, I question why we/they would proceed with that situation. The problem is, that frame of mind doesn’t always seem to work (although I’m not quite sure why. Whoops, sorry).

So when I say out loud that, leading up to the 2008 presidential election, there was a total of $5,285,680,883 spent by the candidates (BTW, if you counted one # per second, it would take you approx. a year and a half to count to that number w/out stopping. I thought you might want to know so I did the math for you), I have a hard time trying to figure out if all that money was spent wisely. Of course, for Mr. Obama, the answer could very well be yes. But I wonder if any of us mere humans can remember any of Mr. Obama’s presidental ads that ran, or, for that matter, any of the ads that the other guy ran (His name will come to me, I’m sure). And when I say out loud that, so far during the current presidential race, the candidates have spent close to that amount already, with over 2 mos. to go, I wonder how much sense that really makes. (I’m not a name dropper, but one person has already “contributed” $7,000,000 to his favorite candidate. Of course, if we had as much money as Bob Perry did, we may choose to do the same. Whoops, sorry again!).

One problem is that I am saying all of this while I am still “recovering” from my latest mission trip to Uganda (congrats to the Uganda Little League, BTW!) where the average income for working Ugandans is somewhere around $2 a day. Hold on one doggone second, some of you may say. Ok, I realize I am comparing one of the poorest countries in the world with the richest and some of you will say that’s not fair. But stay with me on this one, I am going to make a point, I hope. Now, here comes the “black and white” part: What if a presidential (or any politician) candidate were to raise millions of $$ during his/her candidacy, but instead of buying air-time to, basically, throw mud at his/her opponent, he/she used that air-time to advise that they were giving the millions of $$ raised to build wells in third world countries, AND, he/she challenged his/her opponent to match those numbers? Wait, I can hear some say, “Why should any candidate send all of that $$ raised to another country when all of that $$ raised could be used for good in the schools that are hurting in this country, or to (heaven help us) bail out those who have lost their jobs and are really struggling to make their house payments or keep the electricity on? Hmm, that sounds a bit “black and white” to me, too.

I recently returned from my second mission trip, along with 17 others, to Uganda with Hope4Kids, a non-profit based out of Phoenix. My first trip, April 2011, was an “emotional earthquake” that totally rocked my world and I figured I would be “more mature” about the whole feelings thing this time around. Aw, the best laid plans.

I’m sure we have all seen the pictures on TV or in magazines showing the little boys and girls with their hungry eyes staring at us, and there’s a good chance that they tugged at your heart strings. That is, until the commercial was over, or you turned the page. But to walk through the villages and seeing those eyes first hand changes everything. The fact of the matter is that in the villages we visited, those eyes were laughing and smiling eyes. The kids greeted us with hands reaching out, not for food but to touch us and shake our hands and to give us hugs.

On my first trip to Uganda, I asked the founder of Hope4Kids how he had been able to do what he does for so long (Tom Eggum founded H4K’s over 30 years ago and they are now in 9 countries http://www.hope4kidsinternational.org/our-story) without becoming over whelmed and frustrated. Tom told me that his goal is to bring safe water, the knowledge of how to grow food, education, and the true gospel of Jesus Christ to one child at a time.

Each village has a pastor that oversees it. And each time we entered a village, the pastor would greet us and they would ask me, “How are things in America?” I didn’t believe this question was just a “filler”, so I would answer them, “You know pastor, in America we have so many ‘things’, yet joy seems to elude so many. But here, you have so little, but the joy you and your people show is amazing.” To that, they would just smile and say, “As it should be”.

We dedicated a couple of wells that promised clean, safe water to the village. We handed out dresses to the young ones that were made with love out of pillow cases. These dresses were the first new thing these young girls had ever received in their lives. We handed out mosquito nets so that families could sleep at nite, not worrying if a bite would mean a case of malaria. And we handed out love in the form of smiles, holding hands, and hugs.

So the smiles and warm welcome we received in each village was because each person there felt the true meaning, the true hope, of Jesus Christ instead of what has become a diluted, mixed message of the same here in the “civilized world”. They don’t have the concerns over the latest fashions, who posted what, or what time they may need to be someplace. It makes you wonder, as “primative” of life they seem to live, if they are actually more advanced then we are. When it comes to understanding the true meaning of life, I might say they have the advantage.                         

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