By ANNAGRACE DESSEZ, Special to the Bulletin | Published March 31, 2022
There’s nothing truly like driving in your car alone at night. You have time to be with your own thoughts. You can think about your day, what you need to do tomorrow, why you haven’t reached out to someone and what your future will look like.
Some people are scared to be alone with their thoughts because they don’t like the realities they’re having to deal with. Jesus was left in the desert for 40 days. He was left to his own thoughts, alone. And when he wasn’t alone, he was with the devil himself. During Lent, we are supposed to be alone in the desert these 40 days. What will we be wrestling with during our trip to the desert?
What is our purpose? Some answers might be to love and serve one another, to live like Christ and to do God’s will. These are all true, but what does this mean in practice in our day-to-day lives? Not everyone can be a missionary in a different country or be a Catholic speaker. How can you as a regular person, working every day, being at home with your family, ﬁnd purpose this Lent?
Prayer is a powerful tool. You’ll hear that over and over again because it’s true.
Prayer looks different for everyone because we build relationships differently. It might be praying the rosary on the way to work or school. It could be journaling at the start or ﬁnish of your day. Prayer can be spending an hour in adoration once a week. No matter how you choose to add prayer to your schedule, make sure to keep praying. God doesn’t always speak in burning bushes like in Exodus. Sometimes all it takes is to be patient and do the next right thing.
How can I do the next right thing if I don’t know my purpose? If you have kids, your purpose is to be a mom. If you have friends, your purpose is to be a good friend. If you have a job, your purpose is to do your job. We have little things in our life God has given us like kids, friends and jobs.
We need to continue nurturing those gifts God has given us. You may not know your overall purpose but you’ll be continuing on the path that God has given you. Keep doing the next right thing in your daily life. Keep praying and keep loving others.
You may not automatically know your purpose after Lent, or maybe you’ll ﬁnd out during these 40 days. Everyone’s journey is different. God’s purpose is different with every single one of us. He reveals himself through prayer, reading the Bible and with the people around you. One day you might be able to see how all the pieces ﬁt together in God’s great plan.
Finding purpose is about how you can live your life with Christ at the center. Some days you will fail to pray or to do the next right thing. That’s okay; we are human. The most important thing is that we keep trying to pursue God’s purpose for our lives. This Lent, seek your purpose in this season of living in the desert.