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Ask the Patriarch 277
Looking for purpose

from: Trevon

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I'm thirty, agnostic, and am having a hard time assimilating in the normal secular world.

My life for 18 years revolved around the church and its teachings and the secular world had nothing for me. I have my interests and likes but I've had a hard time giving my time daily to a career or a job that asks so much of my time when I believe the only thing of worth is time.

My time is limited on this planet and I feel like I'm on my own island with these beliefs and I'm looking for purpose and a path to contribute to society and my loved ones in a positive manner while being ok with giving my time to whatever job or career that may be.

I was eighteen when I left I'm thirty now and can't seem to hold a job down for more than a year without getting anxious or worried about time. If you could reach out with some advice that would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

The Patriarch replies:


Thank you for writing, but I admit this is a tough one. Perhaps some of those who read your question can contribute.

In the interim, I'll give my thoughts.

It is tough to leave a situation in which a church has dominated your life. It can leave a void. And how can you fill that void in a satisfying manner?

You seem to feel you need a purpose. I'm not sure that a purpose other than getting on with life is necessary. But whether you live for an identified purpose or live just for the sake of living, it is essential to provide yourself with the necessities of life. And that means work - probably a career.

Work should not be considered a waste of the finite number of hours we have - it is the primary means of funding our non-work hours. Work has value - it contributes to society. It's only when work takes over and leaves no time for living that perhaps a person should get anxious about time.

It's a fair trade - giving up some of your valuable time so as to have more resources to use and enjoy the rest of your time.

Work becomes more satisfactory if you can find a job that is interesting and/or enjoyable. Perhaps aligned with your interests. Perhaps to move in this direction, you could look at expanding your education - particularly if the church you were in restricted your educational choices.

Best wishes



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