“I was clear, present, and very determined. As Samuel Johnson drily commented, the prospect of death marvelously concentrates the mind.” (Grace and Grit, Ken Wilber, pg. 41-42).
Suffering immediately focuses you on the mission.
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same attitude,
because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for human desires, but rather for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2
It is the nature of deep suffering to cut the crap. No longer are you intertwined in petty things. You are inexpressibly sincere- to the soul. The deepest part of your inmost being is still as you face an equal depth in pain.
I have experienced these jolts to focus many times. A few that I remember clearly are when my dearest childhood friend told me she was raped, when my mom calmly shared that she believes she is now starting to die, when I researched my own illness and realized that I will lead a terribly hard life and suffer till I die, which will probably be very young, when my sister asked me to my face if I was going to die, and countless more. Suffering cuts to your heart. It severs the ties of your heart to superfluous things. It is a knife, cutting you apart until what is left is only what is crucial for survival, and leaves you to march forward with that. It reorients your direction from a bee-like path, up and down, side to side, to a direct unquestionable aim; a mission. Life is no longer a playground, but rather a solemn fight, one to now be survived, not teased with.
Personally, My mission: to do the will of the Father (God).
There is nothing left on this earth or in this life that I desire; nothing that I desire more than to be in the presence of my Lord. Therefore, since I am still alive, even today, I am living for a mission, not simply for pleasure.
My thought every morning as I wake up: Okay, Lord. You woke me up to live this day. Why? Walk me in the significance of this day, and please, oh please, give me strength.
Every evening: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7). I am done fighting for this day. If your will, take me home. If not, then please sustain me through tomorrow and strengthen me to walk in what you have for me.