The past couple months,
I’ve felt a loss of purpose.
Now don’t get me wrong,
I love my life and where I am.
I’ve realized that I’ve had my purpose rooted in things that can easily be uprooted,
And that isn’t good.
So I’ve been learning,
Struggling to find out where my purpose lies.
And I think,
If you’re reading this,
That you’re feeling the same way.
And trust me,
You’re not alone.
Lots of us are yearning for purpose,
To find where we belong.
Really what we’re looking for is contentment,
A state where we are where we know we’re suppose to be,
And a peace about ourselves.
A lot of us place purpose outside of who we are as children of God.
We place it in what other’s think of us,
Or that one huge great thing we’re suppose to accomplish with our lives.
And since we’re not figuring out our purpose,
It’s driving us crazy.
We’re running to find anything that can give us purpose,
Or an escape from that pressure building up within us if we can’t figure it out.
It’s a tough place to be in.
I’m learning a hard lesson,
That my purpose is already found,
And it’s in Christ.
Oh I know what you’re thinking,
As you roll your eyes,
That you hear that all the time,
And really, what does that really even mean?
(If I’m being honest, I don’t even really know. But I’m trying to figure it out)
And I know,
It’s easier said that done (like almost everything in life!)
So let me try to break it down for you.
I’ve always placed my purpose,
And self worth in work.
How hard I work determines how productive I am,
How useful I am,
And if I’m good enough.
Secretly I kinda like running around like a chicken with my head cut off,
For somehow, it makes me feel better about myself than if I were just sitting being lazy.
But that’s the thing,
Eventually I’ll crash,
I burn out and I realize that I’m not content with myself and that’s why I try to busy myself so much.
(Light bulb turns on!)
And funny enough,
The Lord has ways to stop us in our tracks and bring us back to Him,
And although it’s hard at times being humbled and working through the messiness of self,
I’m deeply thankful for it.
Okay so next,
Then I get married,
Leave a job that has been my life for the past four years (camp tends to become all consuming!)
To live in a place without work,
And far from town.
So I’ve had a lot of time to think.
Maybe too much time.
And in that I’ve found that I have continued to seek busyness as a way to find purpose,
Rather than being able to have some much needed rest.
I’ve become weary,
Burning myself out by not measuring up to the expectations I’m placing on myself,
And becoming an anxious ball of mess as I’ve found out that I have no purpose.
Bless Levi’s soul for loving me through it all!
But stick with me,
There’s a happy ending (or one in progress)
So the Lord has been slowly teaching me that my purpose has to be rooted in something else other than myself,
In some truth.
Let me ask you a question or three,
What is one thing that you’re passionate about?
What is a talent that you have?
How are you able to use those right where you are, even if it’s not as great as you think it should be?
So we neglect our purpose without even knowing it,
Along with that our talents and passions we carry.
So here are the three reasons we’ve been neglecting our purpose;
(And just a quick note: I’m no scholar, I’m degree-less and I’m just a wanna be writer, so take everything I’m learning with a grain of salt – because hey, next week there could be another two reasons that could be added onto this!)
We Compare Way Too Much
‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ as Theodore Roosevelt once wrote.
And that couldn’t be truer.
Especially with social media bombarding our lives,
We base our lives off others.
But regardless how great someone else’s life looks,
It isn’t yours and you don’t know what they’re going through either.
Everyone has something,
And everyone has been given different talents/gifts.
Instead of comparing,
Begin living your life wholeheartedly,
Right where you are.
Whether it looks how you want it to look or not.
You just need to start somewhere.
For we are so critical of ourselves,
And of others.
Instead of comparing,
Begin to spur others on.
Seeing that we are all living with the same purpose.
Encourage others instead of being jealous of how their life lives.
Rather than being hurtful or insecure around others who may be doing what you want to do,
Love them and build them up.
Seeing that they are doing beautiful things with their life,
And you can too.
For it’s a beautiful thing when we can push others to achieve their goals,
And watch others succeed without being harsh on ourselves.
Your purpose doesn’t come down to one event,
Or achieving one great thing in your life.
Your purpose is everyday to live for the Lord.
To live yielded to the King of kings.
When I came to that great realization,
I was humbled and set free.
Set free to live each day with intent,
Each day knowing that my purpose is just to live walking shoulder to shoulder with Jesus.
Whether you find that silly or not,
That’s our purpose.
Is to live a life laid down for God,
Using the talents He has given to us for His glory and not our own.
(Look at the Parable of the Talents)
Stop comparing and begin embracing the life you have,
Seek to see the beauty around you and love each moment of it.
Regardless how it looks in comparison to others lives or from others looking into it,
See others lives as beautiful too.
There is nothing wrong to aspire to a better life,
But may you live your life right now fully and embracing all you have,
Ready to do what you can to serve the Lord and love others.
For you got this,
And you’re life is waiting to be lived, embraced and given away for the sake of love.
Second, We Have Too High Of Expectations
And hey maybe it’s just me,
But having to high of expectations can kill our drive.
Because we feel we have to do something huge with our lives to have purpose,
Or we have to measure up to some standard that we’ve created,
Or whatever else you hold yourself up to,
And in that we can’t find a purpose.
Because nothing is good enough,
We’re not good enough.
Just living a normal life,
Serving the Lord where we are,
Loving those around us as we work a normal, average job,
Isn’t going to work for us.
But we need to set our bar down a bit guys.
Now I believe that we should be striving to love the Lord with a great capacity,
Walking in faith,
Stepping out to love others and live a life that is building up the Kingdom of God.
But we miss the mark when we think it has to be some great thing.
For the fear of not measuring up,
Or even more so – messing up,
Hinders us from doing anything.
For I think Mother Teresa hit the nail on the head by saying;
‘Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.’
‘There are no great things, only small things with great love.’
‘If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.’
‘Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.’
Mother Teresa didn’t set out to change the world and become a known woman.
She set out to just love on those around her,
To imprint the world in which she stood.
To not pass by anyone without letting them see how loved they are.
And you can do that,
Right where you are.
Starting in your home,
Then your neighbors,
And those you work with.
Maybe even someone you pass by,
Or someone you feel compelled to stop and talk too.
I don’t know what it looks like for you,
But stop being so hard on yourself that you aren’t capable of doing something,
For you are more capable than you think.
And your world is bigger than you think.
You don’t need to do anything spectacular to have a purpose.
You already have one,
Right where you are.
No act of kindness is too small – just begin.
Lastly, We Don’t Know How To Steward
Now I hope that all this has helped a bit,
Has allowed you to breathe a bit more.
And if it hasn’t,
Each one of you is going through something different,
And we’ve all come from different lives.
So I can only speak from where I’ve come from,
The things I’ve learned and what I believe.
And that’s the thing about stewarding,
We all have been given different gifts/abilities/talents.
(Again if you haven’t read the Parable of the Talents, it might help this make sense)
And it’s up to us to choose how we will use them,
How we will live,
And what we’ll do with it.
It doesn’t need to be huge,
But I encourage you to at least begin.
Whether it’s using your love for baking to bake for neighbors.
Whether it’s using your paint brushes to give for silent auctions.
Whatever it is,
Steward it well by using it.
Rather than letting fears,
Hinder you from doing anything at all.
Thomas S. Monson wrote, ‘Don’t forget, one of the saddest things in life is a wasted talent.’
Or Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.'”
And lastly Lou Holtz, ‘Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.’
You see you have a talent,
A beautiful one.
But it’s up to you to use it.
Everyone that we see that has done something great with their lives,
Had to start somewhere.
And most of the people didn’t even intentd to do something great.
They just had the courage to use what they had and step out in faith to do it.
Don’t neglect the beautiful ability or talent you have,
Sharpen it if you must,
And step out with courage,
Even if it’s scary,
To do it and do it with all your heart.
You’ll never go wrong with just trying.
And if you aren’t sure what you’re good at,
May you seek those around you to affirm you,
To encourage you with what they see within you.
And I pray that you would be reminded,no matter how small your life seems in light of the world,
Or what other ‘great’ things those around you are doing,
To live your life, everyday laid down for the Lord is the greatest achievement I believe one can be known for.
So I’ll leave you with Oscar Wilde’s famous quote,
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”