Purposeful living

Purposeful living

I know purposeful living is a bit of a buzz phrase right now, but I like it. In one of the last chapel gatherings this year, Dean of Chapel Aaron Baart spoke about what it means to be purposeful. He defined purposefulness as “creating habits and practices that reflect the things we love.” With references to Psalm 119, and the way it speaks to the psalmist’s desire for where he wants his heart to go (an “obedience trajectory”), and to Jamie Smith’s “I am what I love,” Baart’s message was a good reminder to the students and employees filling the B.J. Haan Auditorium.

How can discipline, habit, and practice move us along to where we want to be? Healthy Christian discipleship, said Baart, is about practicing who you want to be and reflecting on where you want to go. It’s about being on an obedience trajectory, not inspired by fear of the law, but by love of the law-giver.

I appreciate that way of thinking through what it means to be purposeful in the patterns, habits, and practices of my own life. What do I get excited about? What do I make time for, and what does that say about me? I think those are great questions for our recent graduates to continue asking themselves as they go out to serve and put their wisdom and knowledge to work in the world. 


Sonya Jongsma Knauss (’97), editor