Patrick and Telar, a quick drawing of friends I just came across in an old sketchbook and seeming to fit here.
Here’s one for you.
There was a man all alone, wealthy, but without family. He had his work, but it wasn’t enough. In the end he asked himself, “What am I doing all this for?”*
Have you ever experienced that? I have, like when Anne’s been away for a few days. That doesn’t happen too often. (Actually, it is too often, just not very often.) At first I’m fine, relishing the time to really focus on whatever I’m doing.
But after a couple of days, I begin to run out of enthusiasm or, rather, out of “reason.” Like the guy in Ecclesiastes I begin to wonder, “Who am I doing all this for?”
It’s funny . . . up until that moment I would not have thought I was doing it for Anne, at least not the projects that have nothing to do with her. But as they weren’t for anyone else either, she fulfills (yet another) need I didn’t know I had.
A friend of mine experienced the same thing in a bigger way after his wife died. After his grieving, he threw himself into his work as his purpose for living but in time he had the same question: “What am I doing all this for?”
As it happened, he reconnected with an old friend, also recently widowed; they married and are now, in the natural course of things, happily doing things for each other.
Not everybody can do that. But everyone needs someone, who, if only in the background, they’re doing things for. Otherwise we run out of reasons; and when we run out of reasons we run out of everything.
Nowadays, whenever I start losing track of what I’m doing and why I am doing it, I think of someone I can dedicate the work to. They may never know . . . but it helps me.
Certainly it helps in writing a blog, having an idea that someone’s out there, reading, reflecting, and maybe responding. That’s why, in the first line, I dedicated this one to you.
Thanks for being there, giving me a reason to be here.
*Ecclesiastes 4:8 my paraphrase
Next: Having Enough. Coming Sunday.