A couple months ago, the phrase Living Life on Purpose began to float to the top of my thinking. The phrase first started coming to me when we were living in the Detroit area. I kept thinking of it and it seemed everywhere I turned in my reading, someone was writing about the same topic. Isn't that often the way it is when God is trying to get our attention?
Surprisingly, Detroit was an oasis in a desert which covered a few years of intense trials. I didn't want to move there, once saying it was the last place on earth I would want to live! God must have chuckled at that one. We went there to follow my husband's job after a season of unemployment... and unbeknownst to me... before a span of time which would bring the greatest trials I have faced.
My husband traveled part of every week and our one car was usually parked at the Detroit airport, which is actually between the City and Ann Arbor. It's odd how I would look back on that time with fondness for almost everything we needed was within a mile's walk of where we lived. Christopher and I would walk to the nearby diner for breakfast once a week and to different restaurants for lunch once or twice a week.
A drug store was on the corner and a family owned shop selling vegetables, meat, and milk was next to it. Even the specialist who diagnosed me as Type 1 diabetic was within walking distance. We tried rarely to be out past dark, for that is when it was indeed dangerous. There was a reason there was bullet proof glass at the ATM, gas stations, and even some of the fast food places. The racial boundaries were clear, especially as one came closer to 8 Mile Road, and the tensions were... and continue to be... on high alert.
When my husband was home, we would often go out as a family, visit the zoo, stop by a bookstore, search for Beauty outside the sidewalks and asphalt of our more urban neighborhood. I can't say I wanted to live there the rest of my life for at heart I need trees and the occasional cornfield to be happy. But it was more than fine for a couple of years, in the midst of a million people on my block alone... in the time of 9/11... He taught me a lot about being quiet and slowing down and focusing on what He was saying.
I came to understand why God was encouraging me to think about living life on purpose... to ponder carefully what I was doing and why, reading His Word and listening for that Still Small Voice. My life was in the midst of serious changes and He wanted to make certain I could follow His direction and depend on His character in the midst of the hurricane force winds of adversity.
Much of what I learned in those years became the basis of the writing I did in the beginning of this blog. The Year at the Pond followed the time in Detroit. That was the year of trials so intense, I felt completely unteathered from life as I'd ever known it. It was the between year when all I could cling to was His Word and Character. It was the year I had to remind myself to breath.
So I was a little unsettled when... after years of giving me a Word for the Year... He once again gave me this phrase. Although tweaked a bit from the original, the meaning is still very clear. God willing and the creek don't rise, in the weeks to come we will unfold the meaning together of what the phrase means in 2017.
I have some ideas already, which will make their way from