“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 every breath.
Finally, they made it to the beach and both fell, desperately exhausted, onto the sand. “Why did you
save me?” cried the angry 76-year-old man. “Why didn’t you let me die? Your good deed is the curse of my existence.”
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 20 years. He had always admired the hard-working
a businessman for his success. To him, Mr. Cambridge was a role model that embodied all he hoped to be someday.
Having worked all his 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 beachfront.
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’slife and the gentleman’s desire to die, Winston asked, “But, sir. Why do you want to die?” Little did
Winston knows 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 gaze and said, “Son, do not strive to be like 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 distance, young Winston stood to stare 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 me?” echoed in his brain.
These questions—Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where did I come from?
What was I born to do?
What can I do?
Where do I fit?
Why am I different?
What is my potential?
Where am I going? Why did I come to this planet?—are universal questions that haunt every human being.
Each of us must find the answers to these questions of purpose if we are going to enjoy a meaningful, effective, fulfilling life.
The purpose is the key to life.
Without purpose, life has no meaning.
There are millions today just
like Mr. Cambridge.
They are busy making a living, but they experience very little of life.
If your goal in life is to be wealthy so you can retire, you have embarked on a depressing journey to nowhere.
If your vision for life is measured by status, your upkeep will be your downfall.
Vision is buried in purpose.
Without knowledge of purpose, life becomes an endless string of activities with little or no
Like a rider on a rocking horse, life without purpose makes much motion but no progress.
(Culled from Unleash Your Purpose by Myles Munroe)
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