About seven years ago, I was in a program called Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation or IPR for short. It was/is an excellent program that involving choosing a specific type of goal: Living; Social; Education; or Work; and while actively working one-on-one with your counselor in your individual sessions once a week filling out the paperwork detailing the specific steps to get you there, including habits you need to develop, values of the goal that need to align with yours, etc; you also met twice a week for three-hour long group sessions where you discussed these things in a more generalized setting. We went through workbooks about Acceptance Therapy, Assertiveness Training, Existential Philosophers, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, First Things First by Stephen Covey, The Meaning of Anxiety by Rollo May, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodan, How to Handle Working and Your Social Security Benefits, etc.
A lot of it was values focused, what mattered to me (us as individuals), what defined my search for work I wanted to do. One assignment we spent a significant amount of time on was developing a personal mission statement. Not something like a five-year plan, but something that would indicate our “true north” as Covey put it. I was cleaning out a box of notebooks yesterday, trying to unclutter my life and came upon mine. I tried to share it with a friend of mine, but her response was underwhelming at best. I told her what it was and her first question was if it was still relevant because her values had changed since she was young, and she didn’t place the same focus on things, and….and all I could think was, “I’m telling you about *my* mission statement that I labored over and suddenly the conversation is about *your* values? Then I read it to her and her first reaction is, ‘It’s longer than I thought it would be.” Oh, well. I share it here with you all anyway.
Believing that God has created the Universe to ultimately bring glory to Himself, I have placed my faith and trust in His purpose being perfect and that He has a reason for every happening; to wit, conforming me to the image of Christ. Even though He has determined the End from the Beginning, this does not abrogate my responsibility to daily make choices in accordance with my understanding of His Will as revealed in His Holy Word, the Bible.
My purpose or aim in life is
-To demonstrate my faith and trust in Him by doing what He has commanded.
-To know Him better by learning about Him through the revelations He has provided, being His creation and His Word.
-To examine myself daily to know myself in the light of His word.
-To bear witness to my belief in Him by showing compassion to myself and others, and living a life of integrity and purpose.
-To help teach others what He has revealed to me, to also help them discover for themselves the wonders of God’s Creation and Revelation so that they may in turn know Him and help others.
-To live a life in humility of the understanding of His grace.
-To love mercy, to do justly, and to walk humbly in His Shadow.
-To live as the Holy Spirit directs, in accordance with the Scriptures.
-To re-evaluate regularly where I am in conforming to His purpose.
-To develop, recognize, and encourage the ability to understand if not necessarily agree.