Purpose and Resistance

Last weekend Leanne and I took a mini-retreat. The kids did overnighters and we ourselves escaped the house for a hotel just down the road. We gave ourselves permission to rest. We took time to pray. We talked about how things are going with our family. We discussed our careers. And we planned to stay up and watch Duck Dynasty all night. Instead we found that, once away from the hustle and bustle of our house, sleep was remarkably inviting.

The idea behind mini-retreats is to get away for about 24 hours, perhaps as often as once a month, and use the time to recenter ourselves. Remind ourselves we wish to live purposefully. Among all of the take aways from the mini-retreat, I want to share a couple related to purpose and resistance.

Humans are creatures of purpose. It is the right state of our souls to desire purpose and to act on that desire. But something “out there” does not like it when our souls are in a right state. And as soon as we act on our desire to live purposefully, we can be sure there will be resistance. Call it spiritual warfare. Call it entropy. Call it whatever you like. Yet you can be sure, when you cultivate your desire to live a purposeful life and then act on it, all kinds of troubles that previously were dormant will suddenly awaken and exert negative pressures on your plans.

This leads to my second observation. Our mini-retreat turned out great. But it started rough. It might sound strange, but the bumpy start encouraged me. Because I am sure that when I cultivate the desire of my soul to live a purposeful life, I will meet resistance, the rough start to the mini-retreat affirmed to me that Leanne and I were doing the right thing.

I would not recommend making this principle of resistance to purpose the only measure by which we determine if we are doing the right thing for our souls. Yet, often times, when we are doing what is good for us, we encounter resistance. Take courage when that happens. It is a good indication you are doing the right thing.