Pondering the “Why’s” in our lives

Ervin TanFeature

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Pondering the “Why’s” in our lives

Irish college student Áine Kirby, reflects on the importance of the reason behind everything we do. Do we do things to please others, or out of our own selfish desires? Being a Christian calls us to do things with God as our ‘Why’.

Let us imagine this scenario – you are helping with a fundraising project at school or at work. You are handling the project well and while doing so, you are recognised for your efforts. It is only human to get comfortable with all the attention and affirmation you receive, and slowly but surely, you get distracted from the work that needs to be done.

Knowing the “Why”

In our daily activities, we often get caught up in the work of the Lord, and forget about the Lord of the work. Yet, He delights in the fact that we want to be His hands and feet on this earth.

Now do not get me wrong, we often start something with good intentions, but we get distracted and lose the real reason we do something. We forget our “Why”.

Gifts to glorify God

Admittedly, it is unrealistic to see God as the reason for every single situation in our lives. For instance, if you need to study for an examination, would your reason for studying be God?

Yet, we can think of our intellect and ability to study as gifts from God. We should therefore learn more and give glory to Him by using what He has given to us, rather than letting His gifts go to waste.

God has given us everything we have. What greater gift can we give Him than to use what He has given us for His glory? It could be as simple as using our voice or musical talents to praise Him or tell others about Him and teach them about His love.

A verse that recently stood out for me is, “Plans multiply in the human heart, but the purpose of God stands firm” (Proverbs 19:21). It reminds us that the Lord has His own plan and purpose for our lives. We will always have our own motives and “Whys” for what we do, but the Lord has a greater purpose for us and He desires our “Whys”.

What greater gift can we give Him than to use what He has given us for His glory?

Being God-centred

God knows that whatever we wish from our own hearts will not come close to fulfilling us as much as having Him at the centre of our actions. It is in Him that we are able to see the bigger picture and purpose in our lives. God removes our selfish motives because our eyes are on Him.

In the past year, I have asked God to align the desires of my heart with His, and to focus on what He wants. This prayer has helped me keep God in the centre of my life and the focus of my “Why”.

Despite not being a Christian, Albert Einstein said something that makes a lot of sense through the lens of faith: “If you want to have a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

If pleasing God is our main goal in life, we will not make the mistake of doing things to please others. Ultimately, pleasing God will then lead to our own genuine happiness.

Reflecting on our lives

So my friends, I invite you to start a list. Write down everything you do on a daily basis, and think about and note down the “Whys” as well. This could help you to better centre your lives on God and understand the “Whys” in your life.

This article was adapted with permission from “What is Our ‘Why?’”, which was published in “Alive!”, a free Catholic newspaper by the Irish province of the Dominican Order.

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