as we live our lives, we often wonder what purpose there is in living. is there an underlying motivation for our actions? why do we do the things that we do? is there something larger than our day-to-day routine? when i awakened this morning, i was surprised to find myself thinking of the idea that all we do, all we think, all we are expresses our underlying motivation. we may live as if this concept we call "self" is the most important reason for being, leading to a life of selfishness that revolves around distractions that are intended to make us happy and yet never seem to do so. or one may live as though service to others is the supreme purpose for life, always placing the needs of others ahead of one's own needs, and this purpose in the end seems to lead to frustration and unhappiness.
rather, it seems that the idea of living one's life as an expression of worship so that each action and each thought expresses a desire to participate in the love that flows through all of creation is the highest purpose for life. this embrace of that which is larger than oneself, that includes all that is, leads one to see that we are all a part of one another, we are each part of the stuff of the universe, we vibrate with the energy of something eternal. we cannot love others if we do not love ourselves, and sacrifice which denies oneself is ultimately unfulfilling. rather, serving others is a way of serving onself, not a denial of onself but an expression of the force that binds us all together.
we are not doctors, lawyers, teachers, or whatever our vocation is, but we are beings who make our living through our work. the work is not who we are. we are human beings that are bound together by the same longings for peace, for happiness, and for connection to others. we can express our humanity, our need to give and receive love, through our work, but the work must flow from our basic human longings rather than the work being our reason for existence.
with each breath, may we sense our common bonds. may we give and receive love and forgiveness. may we see ourselves in others, remembering that inside even the most seemingly cruel person beats a heart full of hurt and the desire to love and be loved. shalom.