The Pursuit of Purpose

Is the search for ecstasy and fulfillment really a search for something greater in life? Alan Hirsch discusses the pursuit of purpose.

Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection

  1. In what ways is it possible that the search for ecstacy is simply a search for something bigger than life?
  2. Alan says that every person has a yearning for God. How would you describe the yearning inside yourself—whether you believe it's for God or not?

I think was GK Chesterton who said this, he said that every person knocking on the door of a brothel is looking for God. And, uh, he's actually right. It's that in the end, all ecstasy is— even the search for drugs which was certainly a part of my life. I took a lot of drugs— even in that, in the search for ecstasy, is actually a search to find something bigger than life. Human beings are not just thinking creatures, uh, we're not just feeling creatures, we have great need and desire that kind of drives us to, to, to, to, uh, to find fulfillment. And one of the things of spirituality is a great, vast yearning, and I think ultimately that yearning can only be found in God. So for me, I think God has given me a wonderful opening to, to actually, to operate within what I think I'm called to do. So I'm, I'm enjoying, uh, getting older, uh, in some ways. I'm not happy with what's happening in the body. There's always something wrong now. Uh, uh, I dread what's going to happen in 10, 10 more years, but, uh, the other side is that what's, what's happening on the inside, I love it. Um, it's interesting in getting older, you, you actually become your own person. You own your skin. Fifty-three. It's, it's been good and, uh, the forties were kind of good, too. Thirties, you're kind of still putting it together. Twenties, it's, like, complex, and you've got to work it out. It's like a big, giant puzzle that has been put on, onto the table and you have to now put it together, and I think a good twenty-something ought to kind of be puzzling with things. I, I, I reckon with the puzzle idea is, by the end of your twenties, you've got to have, you know, the, like you put the piles of different colors so you could begin to sort them. And by the end of your twenties, you've got to have the the edges done. In the thirties, you're kind of putting the puzzle together. They seem to come together when you're in your forties, and, uh, the puzzle makes a lot more sense later on in life, so live well and, uh, keep, keep exploring the puzzle. It makes more sense as you get along, and even if it doesn't always intellectually, it does existentially make sense in our souls. Uh, life makes a lot more sense now in the fifties than it did in the twenties. Ultimately, there is a spirituality component to that because I think, uh, we find our destiny, our true purpose in, uh, who God is and what he's got for our lives.