purpose-driven-lifeIt appears that we intentionally seek to become purpose driven people. In our initial introduction to others we state name and what we do. If I do little but live and pray, that can cause a frown of consternation on the other’s brow. It doesn’t fit anywhere in the systematised way we understand role and function.

When we define the value of our belief system it again is so often located in some worthwhile activity (and there is no irony here for the projects described are indeed of merit and offer hope). I have begun to consider that perhaps the place to start as I describe my Christian belief system is with the merits of its source rather than in the product range it may provoke.

More frighteningly it may well be that I generate my own self worth and measure the quality of my faith through the outcomes I commit to and hopefully achieve. Whereas belief begins and ends in an acceptance of my complete dependence upon the source of that belief system, who gives me identity, meaning and purpose simply in who I am, not through what I attempt to do.

So to the Oratory where the purpose is clear. It is a reflection of God and therefore offers a warm welcome, a celebration of the truth about God, as well as a rhythm of prayer and contemplation. The immediate product range remains invisible to the naked eye. It offers no ready tangible product that might justify its existence or physically demonstrate its value. It is in fact a very hard thing to communicate.

And what gets me reflecting upon this? Well I plan to attend a mens’ breakfast  at the weekend and am told it will involve ‘speed dating’ between each course as a means to introduce ourselves to one another. My ‘elevator introduction’ I feel raises more questions than it answers; ‘Hello, I’m Micha and I an exploring the life of a hermit. I take what work I can to provide enough money to live on, using where possible my training as a mediator and my commitment to writing and broadcasting five minute meditations, whilst maintaining a rhythm of daily prayer and support for those disappointed, disillusioned and often desperate with life’s ups and downs’. Now that may need some polishing but provides the bare bones of what I do.

So St Cuthbert’s is about what I discovered in reading a short book describing the Benedictine life of the Sisters of St Benedict and St Paul’s Monastery. They state their purpose as threefold;

* God in the ordinary events of daily lifeolders_bench

* Living a balanced life by making purposeful choices

* Seeking the common good

Now I like those three – yet I can immediately see the slippery slope that might lead me to begin pursuing projects through which to showcase such purpose. Yet when left as they are each offers a source of hope both to the individual and the visitor. It is this overarching good of depositing hope and determining to live well, by which I mean as God intends, that is perhaps the only legacy we need to be concerned about. After all, the Christian faith was well taken care of long before I was born and lived a brief moment on this sphere of God’s own imagination. Learning to be content in God alone has for me become the sole purpose of my life, both now and in the future, after years of seeking to do good for God and for others.