Can you remember a time when you were filled with enthusiasm and joy? That time when you knew you has a sense of purpose?
How did you know? If you’re like me, you may have a hard time explaining exactly how it is that you knew. I enjoyed a wonderful experience this weekend with Champ Campers, seeing them find their respective purpose and the value they already had inside them. I loved how their eyes showed that they started finding who and how they were uniquely qualified to help.
Flipping though channels, I stumbled upon a PBS Nature special about Jack the Goat and Charlie the Horse. Charlie’s a 40-year-old blind horse. They were about to put him down after he lost his eyesight. Jack, a 16 year-old goat on the same ranch, adopted him. Unprompted, he took it upon himself to leading the horse to pasture during the day and then back to the barn each evening. The story fascinated me so much I couldn’t change the channel.
How did they communicate? How did they know? So much is unexplained. They aren’t even of the same species — truly an odd couple. The PBS special was about relationships between animals that aren’t ‘supposed’ to be together. It seems that Charlie actually gave his buddy, the old ailing goat, a purpose with meaning that kept him going.
When we’re purposeful in service is when we seem most alive. I feel blessed each day that I get the privilege and opportunity to inspire audiences and train emerging speakers. Without that, I know I wouldn’t feel nearly as alive.
As beautiful stories often go, after much joy, comes sorrow. Charlie had his final walk to the pasture and now rests there for eternity. Not surprisingly, once his friend died, so did Jack’s purpose. He soon followed Charlie out to pasture for the last time.
This just reinforces the point of purpose. Do you know your purpose or feel like you know what you’re meant to do? Who’s your odd couple? The cool thing about this story is that it’s more about all of us than about Jack and Charlie. We have the ability within each of us to choose a new purpose.
Jack was lost without his purpose. It’s okay to feel lost, but not okay to stop looking for your next purpose. We hear many stories of people losing a loved one and simply giving up. Yet we hear about others that use terrible losses as catalysts to help others. With that drive, they often accomplish great things. It doesn’t mean they don’t hurt, they just made a different healing choice.
What do you choose? If you don’t know your purpose, are you seeking one? I’m excited about some of the Champ Campers finding their purpose. I hope you have as well. So leading a horse to pasture may not seem like much, it’s exactly what Jack needed to feel alive. What do you need to feel alive?
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