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The Purpose of Life is a Life of Purpose / Ikigai

May 5, 2024



Ikigai is a Japanese word that means you know and practice your unique reason for living. It’s what gives you purpose and joy in life for as long as you live. On the Japanese islands of Okinawa, there is no word for retirement. I believe that is because of the emphasis on ikigai. Residents there are always living out their purpose in life. Consequently, it is one of several contributing factors to the longevity and good health among its many centenarians.

If you’ve been a teacher, you’ve been practicing ikigai each time you bring out the best in your students. If you’ve worked in the medical field and have given hope and healing, you’ve been practicing Ikigai. If you love to care for your friends and neighbors, you are practicing Ikigai. If you create cards with comforting words for others, you are also practicing Ikigai.

Each of us is uniquely created to be in some form of service to one another. It can be as simple as a word of encouragement or as well-loved as what Mother Theresa did in her Calcutta orphanage. No matter how great or small, each of us can contribute something to the world around us. So, I encourage you to meditate on what you can do to serve others with whatever means you may have. It is sure to always bring you joy, a reason for waking up in the morning and your beautiful sense of purpose in life.

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10 (NIVi) 

+ Campus Pastor Lane Skoglund-Anderson

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