In a recent edition of his Daily Hope newsletter, Rick Warren reminds us: “When you stay focused on your purpose, not your problem, you can be happy even when life seems to be falling apart.
“Paul was an old man when he was in prison in Rome. He was a long way from home. He was awaiting execution. Everything has been taken from him—his friends, his freedom, his ministry, even his privacy, with a guard chained to him 24 hours a day. It wasn’t exactly a happy time for Paul.
“But there was one thing they could not take away from Paul: his purpose. Paul made the choice to stay focused on his purpose, even when he had lost everything else. What was his purpose? Serving God by serving others.
“Paul says in
“I’ll never forget reading Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist who was taken to one of the death camps in Nazi Germany. All of his family and all of his friends were gassed and murdered. He talks in his book about one day when he stood in front of the Gestapo stark naked. They’d taken away the prisoners’ clothes and even Frankl’s wedding ring. He stood there with nothing at all when he suddenly realized there was one thing the Nazis could not take away from him: his choice in how he would respond.
“You cannot control what other people do to you. You cannot control what other people do around you. But you can control how you respond.”