Last week I posted about my struggle and failure to find an area that I could be an expert in. After reading the comments and hearing the encouragements, I realized that I am not at all alone in this struggle. Hooray for the Reninansence Men and Women out there who aren't defined by any one area of interest. I have now embraced my lack of expertise, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know my purpose.
What is purpose? Purpose provides direction – a path to guide. Before taking action in something I try to think, why? Why am I doing this? Why skip cleaning the bathroom and go to the zoo? Why cancel the zoo trip and clean the bathroom? What I am seeking is intentional living. A life filled with things by design rather than default. Sometimes after a stressful week we need to relax and go see something extraordinary. Sometimes after a busy week, especially if that week included sickness, we need to stay home and disinfect to prevent becoming even more worn down.
Living with intention and focusing on purpose is not always an easy process. I have reminders of the need for purpose all over my office and embedded in my thoughts throughout the day. A sign made by a dear friend. A piece from a long forgotten bulletin board set. A hand lettered note. These focus my attention, and believe me friends, I need all the help I can get when it comes to focusing my attention. I’m a long way from perfecting this purpose thing. Often I have the best of intentions, but those fall aside as I see a birds outside and remember to fill the bird feeder then see that I need to clean the window then see I need to clean all the glass in the house but first I’ll do the dishes . . . argh! There goes my focus and at the end of the day I feel like I’ve just bounced around rather than doing anything meaningful. I read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff as an autobiographical sketch of my life. Do you have days like that too?
After a many years and a great deal of self reflection I've discovered my purpose – to praise God and to follow his commands. He commands me to love Him. He commands me to love others. This doesn't put me on any particular career path, but it does guide my daily steps. I know God is there guiding and directing as I follow Him. This week I read Psalm 119 and found that provides direction for the heart of the believer. “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!” (NLT vs 1-2, 5, 8) I know that God wouldn't give up on me, or forsake me as other versions say, but I think the psalmist is expressing that he knows that he is a work in progress. He intends to follow God's decrees but know that failures will come. He is admitting to his future failures after stating the intention of his heart.
This is my purpose – to love God and to share His love with others. I write letters, meet friends for coffee, and invite people into our home because I know my purpose. Sometimes purpose gets in the way of productivity. Time spent writing letters could be spent cleaning and organizing my house. The four hour coffee date with the friend who is struggling takes up a good portion of the day. Having people over includes preparing before and cleaning up after. In each of these cases though I spent my time doing what I believed was God's plan for me in that moment. Sometimes I have to clean the house. Sometimes I have to invest in my own personal development. But even those have purpose.
At the end of my life I want to see that it was filled with intention. It didn't just get away from me leaving me sad that the time is gone. I hope my life will be a life of love and praise for God. On Sunday we sang "All I Have Is Christ" by Jordan Kauflin and this verse resonated with my hearts desire.
O Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
My purpose for this blog is to share my heart with you. Many of you I know personally. If you know me well, you know I am super awkward and embrace my inner eccentric self wholly. I shy away from big parties, but adore intimate gatherings and going out for coffee with friends. If you don't know me well, then let's meet. We can talk. I love to talk. If you are far away write me. I don't want to be aloof and distant, although I have often been accused of being so. Usually if that is the case I am just worn down or battling depression or something else. Its not you. Its me.
As I head off for work this morning, my prayer is that I will follow my purpose and that you will find yours! Run with purpose, my friends, run with purpose.
"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one."