At the moment I'm reading Rick Warren's book, 'The Purpose Driven Life' and it's challenging me to question the basis of my life. When I look up my Macquarie, I see that the verb drive means "to guide, to control, or to direct." Whether we drive a golf ball, a car or a nail, we guide, control or direct them at that moment. Warren says that there are hundreds of circumstances, values and emotions that can drive our lives. He asserts that there are five major drivers. 1/ guilt, 2/ resentment and anger, 3/ fear, 4/ materialism and 5/ the need for approval. We quickly associate guilt with something we have done wrong yet many carry guilt that is not theirs. E.g., The child who carries the guilt of the parent's broken relationship. Guilt can be such a driver that it can rob us of life now and can imprison us in the past. Fear is another insidious emotion that sits at the base of much of our anger. The fear, for example, of loosing control in a relationship, can unleash anger that leads to violence. Fears can result from traumatic experiences, unrealistic expectations or growing up in a highly controlled home. Resentment and anger also click in when we are frustrated by unmet or unrealistic expectations. Another driver, the need for approval, underlies the marketer's plan to appeal to us to buy their products. Wearing the right gear or driving the right car helps us gain approval from our peers. I agree with Warren that it is important to live a purpose driven life, but the question is - what is the purpose? Is it to gain success, wealth, peace, etc, etc? Millions of people consult astrologers and psychics to achieve their purposes. Others pursue other ways. Life's sure purpose, however, is anchored in the God of the Christian Bible. He said, "I knew you before you were born and I have plans for you". He created us in His image but with His individual stamp on each one. It's like the limited editions they offer during the cricket commentaries, 'only one hundred produced'. Well God says there is only one of you. Some may say, well I'm thankful for that. But it is of great significance for the one who has had negative reinforcement all their lives. At last someone thinks I'm special. At last my life has a purpose. To lock into God's purpose for our lives, can free us from the bondage of fear, anger and having to conform to be approved. If you would like to speak to someone about a drive that is unhealthy or out of control, or how to explore God's purpose for you life, ring Valley Care Counselling Service, an inter-church community facility, on 0409 517273.
On behalf of the following participants:
Christian & Missionary Alliance
Church of Christ
River Valley Church
Valley Christian Fellowship