She was pretty, petite, blonde, athletic, a Christian and about 38 years of age. By just about everyone’s measuring stick, she was a successful woman--a marathon runner, wife and mother of two lovely children, and an intelligent, engaged woman—oh yeah, and a structural engineer with advanced degrees, having designed and supervised the build-out of Los Angeles International Airport. Truly, she was anything but idle, ignorant or ignoble—far from it. Yet she was dissatisfied; something was missing. I will carry her face in my mind forever because of the question she posed— ‘Can you tell me my purpose in life?!’
In spite of her blessings, her meaningful career and accomplishments, Megan knew there was more. Mark Twain said,
“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” She was stuck between days one and two.
My friends, when we recognize we are here by the design of our Creator, we see the incredible value of life. And with our design … intent … to be, and to become. It was the psalmist who said ‘You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.1 While the pot cannot ask the potter what he was thinking when he molded him on the wheel, we can know our Potter’s thoughts toward us.
Pray with me - “Lord, you have made known to us the path of life.2. Would you make your truths come alive as we consider your thoughts toward each one of us and our life purpose. Lead us, we pray. Amen.”
The Lord would say, “Why Yes, Child, that is a prayer I love to answer! Read my Word and my thoughts toward your life. My Spirit will guide you as you read. After all, as I told Jeremiah, ‘you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’3
Again: God created us in his image. Before we were even born, God knew us, and had a plan for us—he was shaping and molding us. Therefore, he has a unique purpose and destiny for each one of us.
Our starting points/our parameters for discovering what God has in mind are found in Jesus’ words when he was asked which was the greatest commandment. He answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."4
‘But, wait—’ you interject, ‘weren’t we talking about purpose?’
Yes indeed. Created by God for relationship with him, our greatest good is serving him by serving others; loving him, loving others. That is the reason we are here.
What does that look like? With loving God and loving people as our starting blocks, God would ask us the same question he asked Moses when he was pressing him into service, into realizing his purpose: “What is that in your hand?”5
Honestly, maybe some of you reading this are thinking this is nonsense … IF you do not have a sincere relationship with Christ. You see, a funny thing happens when you recognize your need for Jesus and your love for him, and his for you – you want to live to honor him. I have recently watched a radical transformation in one of my corporate brothers, who said, “I’ve never felt this way before … I really just want to make God smile.” Mission accomplished. I’m sure his motivation and desire put a smile on God’s face.
(Wait, you did not think God is emotion-less, did you?)
So, what is in your hand that could be used of God? Among other things, there are:
~your natural giftings or talents
~your vocational skills
~your spiritual gifts
~your personality; temperament
~your availability, access and more
Back to my corporate brother who has a newfound desire to make God smile. Once he realized this, he did not let the grass grow under his feet. Starting where he lives and what he can access, he went to Family Assistance Ministries to help distribute groceries to those needing food. And now, he is helping out by driving a truck to pick up groceries from several stores for distribution. Back to the list above: he can make the time to serve and has found he is passionate about helping those who are in need. [more to come on that]. One thing to note: he lights up when he is talking about doing these things. hmmm.
Living out our purpose is both life-giving and meaningful; at times, it is downright exciting. So, are you between Day one and Day two, or are you living your Day two to the full? Stay tuned.
1 - from Psalm 139
2 – Psalm 16.11
3 - Jeremiah 29.13
4 – Luke 10.27
5 – Exodus 4.2