Finding Purpose in the Journey
Not part of a nursery rhyme, fairy tale or other children’s story — coddiwomple is a very serious word. So serious, in fact, that it is part of a Facebook meme, where I first learned its definition.
To “coddiwomple” is to travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination.
I’m not sure about you, but I think the majority of the time I coddiwomple through life. This can be stressful as we meet people who ask us,“What are you going to major in?” “What do you hope to do with your major?” “What do you want to do after graduation?” “What do you want to do with your life?”
For me, this final question did not stop going through my mind just because I received a certain degree or even a particular job.
As I coddiwomple through life I wonder how in fact I can do it purposefully when I do not know the destination. So much of our life seems to be about “knowing the destination.” We create concrete goals such as, “I will do this training program so I can run this particular race.” “I will save this amount of money so I can purchase that particular gadget.” “I will take these classes so I can graduate with a certain major.”
Goals are great and motivating, but is the final destination the only thing that can bring purpose?
When I look to stories in the Bible there are many individuals and communities that coddiwomple. I would argue that the disciples who stopped everything to follow Jesus were coddiwompling. They did not know exactly where this was going to lead (and even when Jesus tried to tell them, they tried to deny that ending), but they found purpose in the journey and more so in the relationship.
I find when I coddiwomple I am free to see how God is moving in the everyday moments and how I might be called to be in this day and in this space with these people. I am reminded that God isn’t always calling me into a very specific role, but God calls me into a way of being: To act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly (Micah 6:8).
I hope that your time at Valparaiso University can be a coddiwomple. And I hope that you may find purpose each day in the relationships, the studying, and the discovering of the person you are called to be, no matter what role you find yourself in.
Sept. 12, 2018
University Pastor James A. Wetzstein and Deaconess Kristin Lewis, Interim Campus Minister, take turns writing weekly devotions for the Chapel of the Resurrection. You can contact Dcs. Kristin here.
- Archives of Devotional Writings from our Pastoral Staff
- “Some Lent!”
- (Your vocation here) of people
- A Point of Privilege
- A season of anticipation
- Advent = Hope
- All will be well
- Are we willing to cross the road for one another?
- Better Together
- Can we learn to be happy?
- Carrying the COVID Cross
- Come and See
- Did Jesus really suffer?
- Doing without in a life of plenty
- Don’t miss this moment
- Exiles with Vision
- Fear not!
- Feeling at Home
- Finding Purpose in the Journey
- Finding Words for Times Like These
- Forgiving others – and ourselves
- Getting ahead with Jesus
- Getting down on Jesus’ level
- Have yourself a merry little Christmas — somehow
- Holy Week and Taking Out the Trash
- Holy Week: The aid station late in the semester
- Hopes & Dreams vs Life in the Wilderness
- How glad we’ll be if it’s so
- I almost slipped
- In a time of uncertainty, these things are certain
- In praise of plans B … C … D …
- In Praise of Skeptical Disciples
- In the midst of grief, God will bring life
- Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?
- It’s a Three Day Weekend!
- It’s In the Bag
- It’s What’s Happening
- Killing off our future selves
- Lessons in fire building
- Let us work for real wellness in our communities
- Life Is a Highway
- Lilies and leaves and whatever else is beautiful
- Living in the Present
- O Lord, you know I hate buttermilk
- Of Fear and Failure
- On Christian Unity: When we’re not one big happy church
- On the Bucket List
- Pray and Let God Worry
- Preparing for the world to be turned rightside up
- Recovering from an Epic Fail
- Reformation calls for examination
- Remembering among the forgetful
- Seeing beauty in brokenness
- Signs of Love
- Starting Small
- Still in the storm
- Taking a Break from the Relentless
- Talking ourselves into it
- Thankfulness leads to joyfulness
- The Art of Holy Week
- The Funny Business of Forgiveness
- The Greatest of These is Love
- The Magi: Exemplars of Faith and Learning
- The Power of Small Conversations
- The Power of Taking a Sabbath
- The Spiritual Gift of Hindsight
- This can’t be done alone
- To be known
- You will be in our prayers this summer of 2020
- Ventures of which we cannot see the ending
- We had hoped
- What do you do with your anger?
- What is your base reality?
- What to do after you find your voice
- What to do on the day after
- What we know and what we don’t know
- When bad things happen
- When joy and sadness live together
- When the promise of resurrection is hard to believe
- When you offer up your broken cup
- Where God will be found
- Where is the good shepherd carrying you?
- Wilderness Journeys
- Year-end time management: Keeping the main thing the main thing
- Your Valpo roots will help you grow into your future