Life’s Purpose and Age in Dog Years

Hi all~

You may not know this about me, but quite recently I was the birthday girl! It wasn’t just any birthday either, I celebrated one of those fancy-pants decade birthdays that only come along…well, you know, every 10 years! If you think about it, we don’t get too many of those. 

I’m not one of those people who engage in modesty or discretion when it comes to celebrating my birthday. I’m a celebrate-all-month kind of girl. This year, God hosted a massive hurricane on my birthday. I figured that had to be a good sign – like rain on your wedding day (or maybe it means this will be a decade of doom, however I’m going with it’s a good luck sign!)

Don’t worry I’m not going to ask you for birthday presents because I’ve moved on to Halloween decor. But I do have an ask. This week’s post shares some wisdom about life. It may be the only wisdom I know but I think it’s probably enough. Anyway, if you want to share any wisdom that you’ve learned about life or purpose, I would consider your perspective a welcome gift. Maybe one that will help me shape this next chapter of my life.  Please share in the comments! ~ Love, Lara

Here’s what I know:

I recently had a decade birthday which brought up a slew of questions ranging from the existential to the inane. Specifically, these questions ranged from what’s life’s purpose to how old am I in dog years. I’m not sure why I started thinking about dog years when I’ve always been more of a cat person. Maybe it’s because cats have nine lives and factoring that in would be an extra step in the equation. Yet, it turns out figuring out my exact canine age isn’t any easier.

You see, it’s not simply a matter of multiplying human age times a set amount of dog years as I’ve always heard. It varies based on the size of the dog and the breed. Also, in its first year a dog may age as much as 15 years and in later years only seven to nine. I momentarily thought I solved the quandary when I found an online dog calculator. Only, it wouldn’t let me put in an age past 20 human years. To make matters more complicated, it also asked me to pick a dog breed. There was no way I could decide which dog I identify as –that’s a rabbit hole I’m happy to say I’m not going down.

So once again, my search for answers only led to more questions. Typically, my existential quest focuses on what I should be doing with my life. I’ve sought answers with the same tenacity as a Bluetick Coonhound on a hunt. More often than not, I ended up lost. It’s easy to focus on what we think we should do instead of what God is actually calling us to do. We spend decades acquiring material possessions, status, and prestige. We hold on to these things as if they are what define this one unique life that is ours. As if they hold the answer to our relevance in this world. Yet, no matter how much we try to complicate, examine, or define our life’s purpose, the answer remains as simple as God’s greatest commandant to love him and your neighbor above everything else. Life is about the love we give and receive. No special calculators or fancy formulas. Just love.

Somehow it seems like the simpler life’s truths are the harder they are to follow. Or, maybe, it’s only a matter of confusing the Hallmark perception of love with the holy one that God commanded. God teaches us that love is boundless and without condition. God’s example of love looks a lot like the surrender of self. Letting go of what we want to give someone else what they need. Letting go of the lies that tell us that our value is tied to what we do or what we own or who we know. Letting go of expectations and idealism that set our relationships up for failure. Letting go of judgment and jealousy. Letting go of our stubborn will and letting in God’s gentle grace. Love is letting go of resentment, anger, and hurt.  This emptying allows more room for what matters. This emptying is the hardest and holiest love. And, I don’t know of a truer or more significant purpose for any of us.

The real gift, whether it’s your birthday or not, isn’t knowing what we are going to do with our lives but choosing that whatever we do we will do it with love. If only measuring our lives in dog years was as simple.


8 thoughts on “Life’s Purpose and Age in Dog Years

  • October 11, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Beautifully said Lara and so profound 🧐 May we love each other with the love God has bestowed on each of us 💗
    God Bless

    • October 12, 2022 at 3:45 pm

      Amen, Karen! I am really trying to focus on this!

  • October 11, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Love this message Lara as I do all of your posts. I’m definitely struggling with my now approaching birthday. And I have painfully been looking back and taking stock. I think I wish most now that my faith was stronger in moving forward into the next years of my life. Thanks again for your beautiful faith and insight ❤️

    • October 12, 2022 at 3:42 pm

      Amy, I wish my faith was stronger too. I don’t know if any of us ever feel like we are where we need to be in terms of that. But I do believe if we pray for increased faith, God gives it to us. It’s like forgiveness, I try to put it in his hands and little by little I notice it works. Don’t look back anymore. So much joy awaits you. Have faith in Him and that.

  • October 11, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Measure it with love. Do the best you can every day.

    • October 12, 2022 at 3:37 pm

      True. Your advice reminds me of Saint Mother Teresa. Always wise!

  • October 11, 2022 at 7:10 am

    🎁🎈Happy Birthday Lara!🥳🎂
    You have such a gift for taking what was written over 2000 years ago in the Gospels and making it “make sense” in our daily lives, like a guide for living our best lives! You, my friend, are wise beyond your years!!

    • October 12, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you, Katherine. It’s amazing how much what was written over 2,000 years ago is still relevant and necessary! All the more reason to believe.

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