“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman
I know, I know. Another post about finding our passions? Another plea for us to start living our best life? Again with this quote?
But why? Why another one?
Because we need to be reminded. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives it’s so easy to forget that we were created for a purpose. In the midst of work, family, friends, bills, and all the other things that are a part of our lives, we don’t remember that we actually have desires. Our hearts tend to push aside the truth that there are things our Creator put inside of us so that “we might have life, and have it to the full.”
He gave us passions, desires, and dreams that are meant to make us come alive.
I know some people hate quotes like these. They feel like empty platitudes meant to get us to buy some stock photo and hang it on our wall.
Not me. I love these quotes. They can snap me out of the everyday grind and cause my mind to think in ways it hasn’t in a while. My eyes, having been blinded by the rut of life that I’m in, are once again opened to the world around me.
They make me want more out of life than I currently have. Not more things. This isn’t about possessions. This is about not letting life sweep me along in its current. It’s desiring more from me and for me.
These quotes have the power to awaken something, long since dormant, inside my heart. Things I thought were dead are once again raised to life.
So let me ask you. What makes you come alive?
To answer this question, I mean, to really answer this question, will require all that we have. This isn’t “Oh what do I feel like doing today?” This is “What is my soul telling me about my life?” To truly answer this question will take all of our strength and wisdom. It will take perseverance. We will need courage.
Courage to trek into the dark depths of our hearts. To go to the places where we have hidden away our desire in an effort to be productive, to not rock the boat, or to protect ourselves.
We will have to gear up and climb the mountain of our soul. It’s an arduous and dangerous quest that will require everything of us. It will take all of our strength and wisdom, courage and perseverance. Maybe a little cunning.
We will have to give up time and create space in which to search. We will think that time could be better spent getting things done. We will have to find a way to get out of our normal routine because our hearts don’t live there. We will have to fight the natural tendency to want to “get this over with.” The chances are that the desires you’ve spent your whole life burying won’t just pop out of the ground the first time you say “Come forth.”
The journey to find the life set before you and planned for you from before the creation of the world is a dangerous, treacherous, and sometimes frightening journey. Digging into your heart always is. But it’s a journey worth taking.
The effort you will need to expend to find your desires is worth it. You may come out bloody or beaten. You may even get some cool scars to show off to your friends. But in the end you will be able to say that you found life. That is worth whatever price you have to pay.