Finding my purpose has always been a source of great stress and terror for me. What if I never find it? What if it’s something really small and insignificant? What if I can’t ever live up to my purpose? It’s all so overwhelming! So how do we find our purpose, and how do we live it out?
I can tell you one thing, we’re not going anywhere until we re-define what purpose means in our lives, because I have a feeling that most of you, like me, have always seen purpose as this thing we have to somehow find. But I think that maybe, just maybe, our purpose finds us. That’s right! Wherever we are, whatever we do, purpose finds us! Whether, we want to see that is up to us.
I’ve managed to tie up my purpose in a number of things over the years. My purpose has been wrapped up in my job, my passions, my relationships, my church, my intelligence, my looks, my athletic ability, and the list goes on and on. And can I just say, when I have my purpose wrapped up in any one of these things, I end up sitting in tears of hopelessness.
If we’re looking for purpose outside of ourselves, we are not going to find it. We can’t ask something outside of us to define our life and our reason for living.
This is true in our Christian specific endeavors as well. It’s so easy to get caught up in what we are doing for Christ. Am I serving enough in my church, my community, my family. We may be looking for our purpose in things that bring Christ joy, but ultimately they are not Him. If our purpose is coming from what we do, and not in whose we are, then we are missing it. We are missing the freedom, the peace, and the rest that comes in finding our purpose in our Savior.
We live in a world that values what we do. What’s one of the first questions we ask each other when we meet for the first time: “what do you do?”. Then we attach meaning to the answer. The purpose of someone in medical school seems so much more important than the purpose of the Starbucks worker. That’s just how society has taught us to see things. But what if we let go of all of that? What if we have purpose and worth just because we have breath in our lungs?
The truth of the matter is that searching for our purpose in what’s happening all around us will never be enough. Even if we find something that resembles purpose in our lives, nothing in this world is sure. I have had significant moments of “purpose” in my life and that is a wonderful gift, but when all is stripped away, Jesus is what’s left. He is our ultimate purpose.
How do we grasp hold of that? In a world that’s screaming for us to be more, do more, say more, how do we rest in that truth? Baby steps, you guys. The answer is always baby steps. One foot in front of the other, every moment, every day, eyes fixed only on Jesus. That’s the only way to truly find our purpose.
Is that to say that we don’t have specific purpose under God in this world? Absolutely not! We all have purposes of all varieties on this earth. And sometimes they are things that our interests lead us to, like careers or hobbies. But sometimes they are completely random, because that is how our God works. And that is why I say we just take baby steps, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, trusting Him to guide our steps, and ultimately fulfill His purpose through us.
We are enough. If we never got up off of the couch we are enough. We are enough because we are His. We can rest in that today as the world screams at us to be more. Purpose is within us wherever we go, whatever we do.