train, sad, lonely-4165566.jpg
Francois Haasbroek

Francois Haasbroek


“Over 160 years ago, Henry David Thoreau noted that most individuals lead lives with suppressed despair. Despite over a century and a half, humanity has undergone little transformation. Many of us continue to confront haunting inquiries that lurk just behind our everyday existence: Is this the extent of it? Does life hold more than what meets the eye? 

These questions evoke a sense of quiet desperation.

Our fixation lies in the pursuit of that elusive ‘more.’ We endeavour to satisfy our yearning for deeper meaning by accumulating possessions. More wealth. More pastimes. More possessions. More leisure time. Ironically, this quest often yields the opposite outcome. The allure of ‘stuff’ may provide temporary satisfaction, but once the novelty fades, the void within reemerges.

Thoreau adopted a contrasting path to attain fulfilment. For two years, he inhabited a self-constructed cabin in the woods adjacent to a pond. His purpose was deliberate living, to confront only life’s essential truths and glean its teachings. He sought to evade the predicament of nearing death, realizing he had never truly lived. This apprehension is universally relatable – countless individuals traverse life as mere spectators. Thus, Thoreau resolved to live deliberately and purposefully.

In those years, Thoreau stripped life down to its core essentials. ‘I aspired to live deep and extract all of life’s richness, to exist robustly and simply, to eradicate all that was superfluous, and to distil life to its elemental form…’

Through relinquishing the insignificances, Thoreau unearthed a profound connection with life. As exceptional as Thoreau may have been, he remained human. One must turn to Jesus (John 10:10), the conduit to a comprehensive life for a truly fulfilling existence. Thoreau’s sentiments seemingly resonated with the essence of Jesus’ life.

It is plausible that the Creator of life (John 1:3) comprehended the optimal way to live it. The gospel narratives reveal that Jesus lived with minimal material attachments. Essentially, He led a life of homelessness (Luke 9:58). If possessions held the key to genuine happiness, Jesus would not have urged the affluent young man to relinquish his possessions and follow Him (Mark 10:21).

Although a carpenter for most of His earthly existence, Jesus withdrew to the wilderness for 40 days in preparation for His calling (Luke 4:1). He divested Himself of life’s distractions, focusing solely on the essentials.

For those aspiring to purposeful living, eliminating hindrances to our purpose becomes imperative. We must declutter our lives. If we profess to follow Jesus, our aim should mirror His. Simplistically put, two fundamental objectives align with Jesus’ mission.

Firstly, Jesus embodied the will of God. ‘For I have descended from heaven, not to enact my own will, but the will of Him who sent me’ (John 6:38). True meaning materializes as we seek God’s will, allowing the Creator to reveal our intended essence. To be recognized and comprehend the Divine fills us in ways unparalleled. Shedding meaningless elements from our lives permits more time with our Maker, and time with God is never wasted. Making communion with God our life’s purpose infuses our souls with vitality (Genesis 2:7).

Secondly, Jesus relinquished His life for others. ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45). If you are perusing this text, you likely possess a family – a spouse and children. Your purpose should revolve around selflessly dedicating your life to them. This isn’t about being served but about serving. Abandoning superficial pursuits grants more time for family. Powering down the television to toss a football with your son, setting aside work emails for a princess tea party with your daughter, or trading golf clubs for quality time with your spouse exemplify this principle.

Intentionality is paramount to living purposefully. Distractions must be discarded to navigate life’s wilderness. To circumvent a life of silent despair, one must embrace life with vigour. Each day should hold significance. Live with purpose. A mindset akin to Christ’s might spare you a life of regret. In fact, you may discover the tranquillity and serenity described in Philippians 4:6-7:

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’

Question: Would your spouse or children characterize you as a serene father? What factors contribute to their perception?”

Share this post

5 Takeaways we can learn from Nehemiah

The book of Nehemiah teaches valuable lessons on leadership, faith, and perseverance. Nehemiah’s story is one of physical and spiritual rebuilding, which can be applied to us as men today. As we reflect on Nehemiah’s life and work, we can learn how to apply these lessons to our lives as

Read More »

Nourishing Your Soul with God’s Word

Amid life’s challenges, uncertainties, and busy schedules, it’s essential to find moments of stillness and connection with God. One powerful way to cultivate this connection is through the practice of meditation.Contrary to common misconceptions, meditation is not exclusive to Eastern practices; it also has deep roots in Christian tradition. What

Read More »

Learning Life Skills Through Adventure

What an incredible weekend adventure we had! A few weeks ago, my 10-year-old son Joshua received a unique task from his Grandad. Instead of having his weekend plans handed to him, he was responsible for choosing a men’s weekend away. He had to find the campsite, plan meals, and select

Read More »

Manhood Is a Team Sport

Manhood is not a solo journey. It is a team sport that requires support, guidance, and accountability from other men. Here are four upsides of why manhood is a team sport. The book of Proverbs says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). This means that

Read More »
Biblical Affirmation

7 Ways to Build Your Family Through Your Words

We often find ourselves facing a multitude of challenges. The demands of daily life, the ever-increasing pace of the world, and the unique struggles that our children encounter can sometimes leave us feeling overwhelmed. Amid these challenges, it’s easy for one crucial aspect of being a dad to slip through

Read More »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart