We are inundated with speeches and articles, encouraging us to find our purpose in life. Our destiny. There are countless books, and daily devotionals…the self-help section at the bookstore is quite large. It’s amazing how many of these books make it into the bestseller lists. I love reading them myself. I try the “steps”, and last a few days before something derails me, and then I forget what I was doing. Awhile later I will find the book on my shelf, and have a hard time remembering what it was that I learned…and did it actually do me any good?
The last few months have been a bit eye-opening for me. I have been striving to find my “purpose”. Coming into a foreign culture requires some adjustment, and the first stretch was a time of excitement and it was a little surreal. I guess a “honeymoon period” would describe it quite well. This second stretch feels different. There is a small struggle going on inside my heart. Am I in the right place? Am I actually being useful here? Will my work here have lasting impact? All these questions cause me to grind my teeth at night, and to feel a little disjointed during the day.
What does the word “purpose” really mean?
noun: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
synonyms: motive, motivation, grounds, cause, occasion, reason, point, basis, justification, intention, aim, object, objective, goal, end, plan, scheme, target;
ambition, aspiration, advantage, benefit, good, use, value, merit, worth, profit;
more…determination, resolution, resolve, steadfastness, backbone, drive, push, enthusiasm, ambition, motivation, commitment, conviction, dedication
These words need discipline and focus. When one is tired, the words are not inspiring…they just sound insurmountable. In a world where we are encouraged to find our purpose and destiny, one can get a bit discouraged and self-esteem can be affected.
What if we just take some time, and focus on what God’s purpose for us is? He created us in His image, for His glory. What if our purpose in life is to live for His pleasure? What if our only purpose is to praise Him, and rest in His love? That takes a big load off.
Taking “time off” to live with purposeful intent, an intent to just praise Him…might be the key to finding what our meaning on earth really is. What it is that we are created for, and why we exist.
This is what I need to do. To stop striving for earthly purpose, and just rest in the knowledge that His purpose for me will be revealed in time…right now, He just wants me TO BE…