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Even The Richest Man On Earth Is Still In Search Of Purpose

The day was Thursday,June 20, 2006. We all woke up to hear that the world's richest man, Bill Gates, will be stepping down from day to day executive activities at Microsoft. This transition will take place over a two year period. I think this was Mr Gates exact words: "I'm very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging..."

Wao, those are strong words, coming from a man of Gates' worth and abilities. Two things are so important and so challenging? No one could doubt that Microsoft and software development have been Gates' passion. But the second one? Dedicating the rest of his life working at a charitable organization which he and Melinda founded.

Now, this is what is so suprising about this whole deal...Gates seem to suggest that the work at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is as important and as challenging as his work at Microsoft. How can giving away billions of dollars for charity be as important and as challenging as software development and amassing billions of dollars? If you don't think this is a huge paradigm change, then may be, you don't understand the issues at stake. In fact, in Gates' own words, "This was a hard decision for me". And this is even more glaring when we consider that Gates is only 51 years or so old.

What's the big deal, you say? To my mind, Gates' decision to devote more time to charity is proof that even the richest man on earth and one of the smartest human beings the world has ever known, is actively in search of meaning for his own life. What is the purpose of money in itself, except as a tool to accomplishing general good to humanity and fulfilling God's will? Bill Gates is telling me clearly, by his decision, that the will to meaning is more important than any other human need.

Yes, money, even lots of it, as in the case of Bill Gates, can not satisfy the desire in all of us to make our lives count for something intrinsically more valuable than material things or fame. There is a void in all of us that money or pleasure can not fill. That void can only be filled when we find out who we are and what we were created to be and do. "It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for"( Message), makes more sense to me in the light of the above.

One more thought. What life goals am I setting for myself? It had better not be a mere physical or materialistic goal. Bill Gates has proven to me that, I could wake up at 51 years old just to realize that I spent 30 years pursuing a goal that does not count the most when my years on earth are over. What matters most to me? Doesn't it make sense for me to listen deep into my soul, and to my Creator, and find the purpose for my life and live it? Bill will find deep satisfaction from, not only giving his money away, but being personally involved in the hurting world we live in. He will probably get more chance to personally review some of the dire cases that come to Bill and Melinda foundation regularly. There is something that happens to a man when he gets a chance to not only see such problems first hand, but also has the ability to truly relieve the sufferers of their pain. No money can buy that.

Bill Gates is committed to living out his purpose. Am I committed to mine?

Did you know you could link this blog to your website? You could also invite your friends to come check us out. That is a neat way to witness for Christ, and spread the discovery of purpose.

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