Time: Part 4 (Unique Challenging Purpose)

My friend Eric competed in American Ninja Warriors this past week in Indianapolis. Because of the secrecy rules for television shows of this nature, the outcome is currently unknown. Eric has been dreaming and preparing for this moment for almost a year while battling stage four cancer. In fact, he has been fighting cancer for several years and keeps beating it. I have not asked Eric directly why he decided to try to get on American Ninja Warriors. However, my inclination is that it gives him both a purpose and challenge in a way that is unique to him.

I have heard the statement, “Make the most of your dash.” The dash is the line between your birth year and your death year written on the obituary. Since you are reading this, you are living in your dash. The question is, “How will you live your dash?”

For me, the dash is lived out best when I live out my unique challenging purpose. There are three words in this phrase that inspire and focus me: unique, challenging, and purpose. I see my unique challenging purpose from two primary lenses. The first is a broad perspective that includes my faith, my relationship with my wife and children, my work, and a few other areas of life. The second perspective, and more challenging to identify, is the specific ways I spend my time to live out my unique challenging purpose. I must find answers to deeper questions. What work will I do that utilizes my talents and passions? What kind of husband do I want to be and how is that demonstrated? How will I demonstrate my love and commitment to raising my children?

Two of our daughters are performing in a dance rehearsal tonight that is open to parents. I have been wrestling with going or not. There are twenty other things I could do. When I look at my unique challenging purpose, the answer is simple; go to the rehearsal.

As you consider the dash of life you have been given and your unique challenging purpose, I will leave you with these words by a wise king named Solomon. “Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.”


  • What is your unique challenging purpose?
  • How will you live your dash?