Purpose

Health and circumstance have compelled me to slow down. In my convalescence, stripped of a vocation, I have seen the days sprawl without end into a haze of purposeless time. Rising every morning to a new day, I fumble before the potential of the light as it falls on the city. There is nothing so immense as existential incontinence to challenge a man’s soul.

We eat when we’re hungry, we sleep when we’re tired. Sometimes we’re not hungry, but we eat anyways; sometimes we’re not tired, but it’s time to sleep. Forever at the mercy of someone else’s watch, the busy faces wander lost in the streets, in pursuit of the wrong gods. I don’t understand where they’re headed in a such a hurry. They walk by the same homeless man on the same slab of cardboard. Burdened by whatever, he drinks away the afternoon as the world passes him by. Is it really so strange? I wonder what led him to that sidewalk; I wonder if we’re all the same.

I stare into the hours, and I count the meaningless space that spans the distance between us and everything else. As the sunlight sneaks through the clouds, and the dusts in the air are given form, I see that the space isn’t empty, after all.

Then I realize it’s a matter of faith. We all have our own gods — work, the bottle, Jesus — to whom we toil in grand pursuit. Framed this way, the dawn simply becomes a question of what you’ll choose to worship. What will you use to fill the space?

Picking up this pen, I create meaning, and as I scribble after a thought, each stroke brings me closer to that feeling. When you chase after a girl, or decide to lose weight, or make plans to see a distant relative for Thanksgiving, you inject purpose into the veins of the day. There is no other that can create meaning in your life but you. There is no moment without potential, no cause too small. The only thing that matters is what you choose to do.

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