Doing What You Want. With Purpose

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“Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” – Henry David Thoreau

Hiking during the week

Now that Betsy and I write books and run websites full-time we’re able to work, serve, and leisure when we want. It’s a blessing from God and a result of hard work and preparation.

One key pursuit of Debt Free Adventure is living our mission and helping you learn to live yours. This means seeking purpose while doing what we love. I’m convinced the righteous desires of our hearts – no matter how frivolous they may seem – are part of a compass, bestowed by God, to help steer our lives. One of mine is hiking, I love it.

Having recently moved to Hendersonville, NC I’m endowed with enough hiking to make me sick. I joined a local hiking club and am going on my maiden hike this morning; I’m excited. It could be pure leisure, but could also present an opportunity to serve Christ, however small. Being sensitive to these opportunities is part of my purpose.

When I was first born-again I created my own opportunities. I would slam open doors and shove God in your face whether you liked it or not. No longer. Nowadays I aim to judge myself against His word and wait for Him to open the doors.

Long story short, regardless of what I’m doing I try to follow the righteous desires of my heart (like hiking), enjoy myself, and remain sensitive to any opportunity to share the glorious grace of my Lord Jesus.

With that always in mind, the topic of today’s article is being able to do what you want; in this case, me hiking during the week.

Forgive me as I take a minute to lose myself in the details of preparing for my hike, being prepared and going over my gear is something I enjoy almost as much as the hike itself!

Being prepared on the hike

When I hiked in Michigan it was hard to get lost; I carried little more than water and a snack. That’s not the case here; Western North Carolina is home to millions of acres of mountain wilderness that can easily confuse an unprepared hiker. It deserves the respect of proper gear and a well thought out pack.

Tomorrow’s hike is a moderate 6.4 mile day hike that should take approximately 3 hours. Here is a picture and list of the contents in my pack. Am I properly prepared? You be the judge.

Hiking kit

Starting horizontally from the top left:

  • mini binoculars
  • bowie knife and multi-function tool
  • signal mirror
  • mini survival kit with all sorts of goodies
  • reflective emergency blanket
  • bible
  • flashlight
  • compass
  • first-aid kit
  • rope
  • whistle
  • flint and steel
  • lighter
  • trail and road map of the surrounding wilderness area

I will also carry plenty of water and food, and be properly dressed in layers.

Note: My kit should include a good quality water filter, which I intend to add soon.

Doing what you love with purpose

I love to hike, but I also love to help others.

We’re blessed to be able to earn a living writing about holistic stewardship, but it took a lot of hard work to get there. For years I built this business on the side while working a full-time job I didn’t care for. Now rather than working a job I don’t like and living for the weekend, I’m doing the work I love and living every day to the fullest. Are you?

“I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” – Carl Sandburg

It’s okay if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, but it’s not okay if you’re not seeking. It took me the better part of 2 decades to find a road that feels right, so never stop searching.

Don’t be afraid to think – and live – outside the box, and don’t be afraid to go your own way.

Remember, if you’re always trying to fit in, you’ll never stand out.


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1 Kevin Yu @ SpringCoin

Funny story, the first time I went camping my friends and I decided to bring a cooler filled with Ice. We didn’t know how far the campgrounds were, and ended up carrying an ice cooler that probably weighed 40-50 pounds..we had to carry this about 3 miles through the wilderness. Lesson learned…

2 Matt Jabs

Ha ha, been there done that!

3 Thomas


Music to my ears:

“Now rather than working a job I don’t like and living for the weekend, I’m doing the work I love and living every day to the fullest.”

If someone is working a dead-end job that makes them “live for the weekend,” that makes for five meaningless days of work each and every week (260 days per year). I think we can glorify God in whatever it is we do, be it a dream job or an unpleasant one, and I would say there are definitely seasons of life where you may love your job for a while and then dislike it for a while. I work in accounting/tax/audit so I can definitely relate. February through April can be pretty stressful, but the rest of the year is great. But I also think — as you stated — God gives us desires to help guide us in certain directions. The job I had before my current one was one that many would say was an ideal job: I had a clear path to the “top” and a promise by management to get me there within four years. Up until the half way point, I was very happy with what I was doing and where I was headed, but God soon changed that. He brought certain circumstances into my life that screamed: leave this job! After six more months of essentially ignoring this (and watching time fly by), I finally realized what I needed to do, so I moved on and was basically handed a different job that was less than a mile from home and offered even more opportunity than the previous job. Being in this new job has blessed us as a family and it has made it possible for us to bless others as well… talk about purpose! Had I continued with the other job, I would have completely missed out on this blessing!

Great post!

4 Matt Jabs

Sometimes it can be so hard to do what God wants us to because of how good other options can look. The clarity is always in our heart, and kudos for following it Thomas! You had a job that appeared to everyone to be the perfect opportunity, but you knew what you had to do and did it. Praise God and congrats on following His leading. So glad you left the comment, it’s very inspiring. God bless.

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