I Remember: Seeking Purpose and Greater Fulfillment
article by Paul Lipe
I REMEMBER the turkey-hunting trip like it happened just a few weeks ago – perhaps my memory is so fresh, because that trip did take place only recently. Actually, my son, Jonathan, and I left Dallas on Friday afternoon, April 28, and arrived in Pike County, Illinois, about noon the next day, having spent the night in Springfield, Missouri.
This trip began for me on Thursday with a five-hour jaunt from Delhi to Dallas. The next day, we attended a season-ending Junior High track meet in which my grandson, Jon Paul, was competing and in which he played an instrumental role in helping his team win the first-place trophy. As soon as the meet was over, Jonathan and I embarked on the eleven-hour ride to his farm in Illinois, where he anticipated a profitable turkey hunt.
Now, with genuine apologies to my turkey-hunting friends, this seems like an exorbitant amount of time and travel just to bag a gobbler! Why would anyone invest so much time and travel so many miles, to say nothing of incurring considerable expense, on such an outing? (Please forgive me, guys, if you have already heard these or similar words from your wives! And I beg your pardon, if my comments have opened up a can of worms that you thought you had sealed until next hunting season). Now, I know that there must be some logical reason for such behavior, because I have a large number of sensible acquaintances who fit the pattern – men who are well-educated and are highly successful in various fields of endeavor. And they will spare nothing in order to engage in the hunt.
As I tried to figure out why men behave like this, all I can deduce is that these folks are highly dedicated to their pursuit – they take this sport very seriously and they make a strong effort to do their best to realize success.
By this time in your reading, you may be asking yourself, “If the pains to which turkey hunters go appear so illogical, why is the man who is writing this critique of turkey hunters going on the trip?” The truth is that I did not accompany Jonathan so that I could hunt – I went along with the intent of having some meaningful time with my favorite son (you should know, lest you think me guilty of showing favoritism, that my wife, Linda, and I had just one male child). Had this trip been only about turkey hunting, I would not have gone. Instead I would have used the time for other purposes and would have saved some money (Incidentally, I am known for the care I exercise in the release of the dollar bill!).
But the truth remains – an individual will spend time and money and effort on that to which he is devoted. For some, turkey hunting fits the bill. For others, it is their family, or their jobs, or their hobbies, or their financial security, or their physical appearance, or their influence and clout, or – you can fill in the blanks. Most individuals who have any drive or ambition will have something that motivates them to invest their capital in that which captivates them – and no matter what it may be, they go all-out.
Is there something or someone in your life to which you are totally devoted? Perhaps more to the point, is there anyone or anything that warrants such ardent dedication? I see much benefit in being zealous in pursuit of something on which one has set his heart. I fear that too many individuals go through life with no drive, no enthusiasm to propel them forward. They seem content with mediocracy and put forth little effort towards accomplishing anything meaningful. I hope that when I … when WE … look back over the path we have trod, that there will be some things that we have done that will have made a positive difference in the lives of those for whom we care. In short, I hope our lives matter.
If you are looking for that which will give your life more purpose and greater fulfillment, may I suggest that you give consideration to the words of the One Who was the only person Who literally gave His all to accomplish the goal of His life. Jesus said, “My desire is to do the will of the One Who sent me.” As we contemplate how much He gave, and as we ponder what that gift accomplished, may we all discover Someone Who merits the pledge of our devotion.