One of my recently initiated routines is to stop by a café and have a cup of coffee and read a bit before work. Depending on how many posts you’ve read, maybe you’re starting to pick out a theme – I have a number of routines that I’m attached to.
So one recent morning, the man sitting next to me, upon finishing the book he was reading, turned to me and said, “I just finished reading this book. It seems to me the kind of thing that’s meant to be passed on.” The book was, What On Earth Am I Here For?, by the best-selling author and reverend, Rick Warren, who also wrote The Purpose Driven Life.
I was raised as a Presbyterian, where church goers sit respectfully silent during Sunday service and only speak when they shake their neighbor’s hand and recite the Lord’s Prayer. Any hint of evangelicalism leaves me unsure of how to react. When my café companion gave me the book, I responded with – I hope – composure and sincerity, and left it at, “Thank you.”
The back of the book said that knowing your purpose would help you: simplify your life, reduce your stress, focus your energy, give your life meaning, and prepare you for eternity. I’d be happy if a 59 page mini-book could help me reduce my stress, not to mention everything else on the list. Maybe this is why my purpose hasn’t yet manifested itself – eternity isn’t even on my everyday radar.
Did the stranger know the purpose of his life? Had the book given him the insight he’d been waiting for, and upon reading the last page he was overcome with the answer he’d been looking for? I was touched by his gesture and, I admit, hoped it was more than coincidental timing.