When was the last time you watched the sunset?
For me, it was just last night with my nieces Ella, Brigitte and sister-in-law Natalie. I called Natalie two hours before the sunset. She had just spent the entire day home-schooling my nieces and working full-time from her home. In the background, I could hear my nieces screaming at each other.
My intent was to pick up the girls to give her a break. Only the youngest thought it would be cool to hang out with Aunt Theresa so I drove to their house which is less than three miles away. When I pulled into their driveway, I was happy to see all three of them sitting on their porch ready to go along with their dog Elfie. This was going to be a family outing. Dog included.
We drove to Euclid Beach Park, the site of a former amusement park, which is run by Cleveland Metroparks. I brought my mom’s old picnic basket full of brownies, mints and water. It was 40 degrees, but the sun was shining and the view of Lake Erie was stunning. We walked along the shoreline picking up beach glass and skipping rocks.
During our outing, we did not mention coronavirus once. We focused on our family time together. The girls were no longer fighting and instead playing beach volleyball. Natalie and I were enjoying adult time alone. This memory may not have happened if it weren’t for the pause.
The pause in our lives is scary. We do not know when it will end. We don’t know how many people will get sick or die. We don’t know when we will go back to work, when we will go back to school, when we will go back to church, the gym, a restaurant, and the list goes on.
In the midst of the pause, I am discovering you must find your life’s purpose. Why are you on this earth? Are you here to work countless hours and build your bank account? Are you here to mindlessly focus on yourself and make everyone around you miserable? Is your purpose to be dishonest, ruthless, self-centered and unkind? I feel that is the way many people in our world were living with no purpose except to please themselves.
I’ll tell you what. This pause has meaning. For one, you are not the most important person in the world. No matter who you are, you can’t avoid getting coronavirus. There is currently no vaccine for it and no cure for it. You can blame that on whatever you’d like and choose to see the negative side of how its impacted our lives. Or you can choose to focus on the positive.
When was the last time you sat down with your family and enjoyed a meal without interruption? When was the last time you held a real conversation with someone you love? When was the last time you prayed as if your life depended on it?
All of these positives are happening in our world today. It’s up to you to embrace the pause or complain about it. It’s up to you to get off the couch and take a walk, call a friend, reach out and do whatever you can to help. You just have to make the effort, and you have to continue the momentum once the pause ends.
The pause is an opportunity to celebrate the purpose in your life. We all have a purpose. We all matter. You don’t have to Google it, you don’t have to travel far to get it and you don’t have to pay for it. Your purpose can be found in the quietness of your heart. Listen to what your heart is telling you. Focus on the little things you can do. It could be as simple as a smile.
In doing that, you will discover your true purpose in life.