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Why!

September 22, 2013

“Let me go. Please let me die,” sobbed the frail, old gentleman  as the strong young swimmer struggled against the boisterous waves of the open ocean.

“Just a few more minutes, sir, and I will have you safely to shore,” replied the young man, gasping for breath.

Finally they made it to the beach and both fell, desperately exhausted , onto the sand. “Why did you save me?” cried the angry seventy-six-year-old man. “Why didn’t you let me die? Your good deed is the curse of my existence.”

What an opening for a great book! Who wouldn’t want to read it. That is the piece of Myles Munroe’s book In Pursuit of Purpose  which I will never, ever forget. One gets caught up in the supposedly important things (the what’s) of life that one often forgets the purpose (the why) of life.

So what about the old man?

Startled by these words, the young man looked down at the older man who had nearly drowned. As he panted from the heroic effort of rescuing the victim from the violent waves, he shook his head, revealing the shock and the mystification that filled his mind.

Winston had known Mr. Cambridge for twenty years. H e had always admired the hard-working businessman for his success. To him, Mr. Cambridge was a role model that embodied all he hoped to be some day. Having worked  all hsi life to achieve the status of being the wealthiest man in the city, Mr. Cambridge owned millions of dollars worth of investments and an enviable mansion on the beach front. He was the father of three well-educated children who all worked in his companies and the husband of a woman who loved him. Hundreds of friends, relatives and admirers looked to him for inspiration and guidance. Perplexed by the disparity between his observations of Mr. Cambridge’s life and the gentleman’s desire to die, Winston asked, “But, sir, Why do you want to die?”Little did Winston know that the answer to this question would change his life forever. ..

As tears flooded his aged eyes, the old man buried his face in his hands and lamented, “What was it all for? Is this all there is? What did I gain? I have everything and yet nothing. Everyone thinks i am a success, but I am a failure. I have given everything and received nothing. I made my parents happy and proud of me, and my wife has everything she could desire. My children want for nothing  and my reputation among my friends, associates and enemies is impressive. Still I am empty, depressed, frustrated and sad. My life has no  meaning. Unlike my bank accounts, which are well filled, I am unfulfilled.

Everyone knows what I am, but I still don’t know why I am. For years I have been so driven by the expectations of others that I have not discovered my personal reason for being. I do not wish to live with such emptiness. Today I decided it was better to be dead than to be alive and not know why.”

These words pierced the younger man’s soul. As he attempted to regain his composure, the old man took his hand, looked into his eyes with a soul-searching gave and said, “Son, do not strive to be live me,. Find out who you are and be yourself.”

As the medics carried the old man away and the sound of the ambulance faded in the the distance, young Winston stood staring out to sea. He was not really aware of his surroundings, for the old man’s words had stirred him deeply.”Who am I? What does it mean to be myself?” echoed his brain.

 But then, do we really need to get to the end of the line to decipher what should not be our core priorities? If each of us finds one celebratable cause and holds on to it even while doing our many other things, we would run a better race.

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From → a better you

4 Comments
  1. Deolly permalink

    You write up got me thinking again right past midnight…thanks and God bless….

  2. tolu okeleye permalink

    Thank you for this charge! More grace.

  3. Find out why and then live out the why each day.
    I was created for a purpose and for that purpose I live…
    Thank you for sharing

  4. I always feel an impact when i read from you.
    Good One.

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