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“Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it?… Carpe… Carpe Diem!”

Living ON Purpose

By: Madeleine “Maddie” Jomolca

“I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow; love like I’m on borrowed time… It’s good to be alive!’ ~Jayson Gray (singer/songwriter)

Several years ago (1989) the movie “Dead Poets Society” resurrected an obscure Latin phrase that most of us had either never heard of or forgotten: “Carpe Diem”—(seize the day). In an all-inspiring, (and personal favorite) speech delivered by John Keating played by actor- Robin Williams, a group of students are encouraged to –“carpe diem; seize the day and make their lives extraordinary”!

See video (courtesy of

The term, of course, is inherently synonymous with finding, and/or knowing one’s “purpose” in life and then striving to fulfill it.  Yet, when asked what their purpose in life, some, most people, in fact, will reply: “to be a mother, a father, a wife, a doctor, or to win the Powerball drawing”, etc. and while these are valid responses (notwithstanding the Powerball mention), these are all, truly secondary purposes. Even some of us, whom have narrowly escaped death often struggle with our meaning in life, what this “second (or third in my case) chance(s)” entails, and what, if anything, is now expected of us. We all, I feel, find it trying to know and realize the distinction between living WITH purpose (parenting, working, etc.), and living ON purpose (our primary purpose, our reason for existing).

Well, before you hurt yourselves trying to figure it all out in one sitting,  allow me to redirect you to Scripture.  Paul, one of Jesus’ disciples, and respected member of His posse, lays it out in layman terms in Philippians 3. In verse 13: … “this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus”; he not only counsels us on the importance of forgetting that past but also on facing the present, and “pressing forward toward the future with great confidence because of our heavenly call”.  He makes it clear that although some individuals have a wonderful past, and love to talk about “the glory days”, because that’s all they have or is as far as they’re willing to go; a good past, is not in itself enough to guarantee a meaningful or purposeful future.

A good friend and former mentor passed on, what I feel is a sizeable legacy to me not too long ago in revealing the very essence of living out this philosophy, that has inherently been and truth daily. Through her example “get-up-and-go-or-stay-where-you-may” outreach attitude I, too, have come to realize that while the journey  may very well appear to be long, the time is, in fact, short, my friends.

Like some overstated campaign ad, however, finding your purpose and seizing it has little or nothing to do with—“Just Do It, Who Says You Can’t Have It All, Satisfy Your Thirst”, and so on. This approach would certainly render us reckless.   Nor is it similarly about drifting through life playing out different roles… this simply makes us excellent multi-taskers.

It is about, first and foremost realizing that we need a Savior; a Savior with a divine intention and purpose over our lives.  It is about realizing that the unexpected will forever remain a firmament in our lives because of that greater target or divine intention, and how, and whether we choose to embrace or reject it will define whether or not we are, ourselves living ON PURPOSE.

American spiritual author,  Orison Swett Marden (1850 – 1924) said: “”There’s no grander sight in the world than that of a person fired with a great purpose, dominated by one unwavering aim.” If this statement could describe any of us, then we would certainly be learning to “seize the day.”

I’ll leave you with a short and relevant tale I found online recently. I hope it amuses you, as much as it did me.

“A young soldier and his commanding officer got on a train together. The only available seats were across from an attractive young woman who was traveling with her grandmother. As they engaged in pleasant conversation, the soldier and the young woman kept eyeing one another; the attraction was obviously mutual. Suddenly the train went into a tunnel and the car became pitch black. Immediately, two sounds were heard: the “smack” of a kiss, and the “whack” of a slap across the face. The grandmother thought “I can’t believe he kissed my granddaughter, but I’m glad she gave him the slap he deserved.” The commanding officer thought, “I don’t blame the boy for kissing the girl, but it’s a shame that she missed his face and hit me instead.” The young girl thought, “I’m glad he kissed me, but I wish my grandmother hadn’t slapped him for doing it.” And as the train broke into the sunlight, the soldier could not wipe the smile of his face. He had just seized the opportunity to kiss a pretty girl and slap his commanding officer and had gotten away with both!”- (

That young soldier knew how to seize the day! In the very same way, we must take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way fulfill our purpose in life.

God does not want us to waste our lives away. He wants us to “seize the day” and live every day of our lives on purpose. He’s given us a reason for living.  It’s not going to happen yesterday, so we must forget the past. We can’t put it off till tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes. It has to happen right now, and it will-if we will seize the day and make it our own.

Carpe diem, my friends!!

Madeleine Jomolca



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