"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
(NIV) Proverbs 19:21
As I sit gazing out of my living room window towards a beautiful sunrise, it is hard not to ponder on many different questions in life. The beauty of nature, the stillness of the morning, and the break of a new day draw me to purpose. What will this day bring? What should I get done? The list always seems long, but it is driven by a daily drive to check things off the ever-growing list.
I'm talking about real purpose. I believe so many of us, self included, look for our purpose in areas such as family, career, relationships, friends, etc. These are wonderful places to look for purpose. I know that I seem to have found purpose as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a co-worker, a friend, etc. There is no doubt that if we look to these areas of our lives, we will find something that will drive our daily purpose. These are all good and important areas to look at and strive to be better at. These are also areas, typically, that I have looked at on my own - areas where "I" am making a determination of purpose.
Rarely in my life, though, have I gone to God to find my purpose. Rarely have I asked Him what I should be doing. Being that controlling person I can be, I have often told God, "I've got this one." I know where my path is and how to follow it. Yet, I have to admit, that my path hasn't always been the right one. When I have followed my dreams instead of God's dreams, I am either disappointed or lost. I get to the other side of a goal and don't feel fulfilled. I finish that "purpose" and realize it didn't achieve what I thought it would.
In more recent years, I have turned to my Lord for my purpose. I ask - and then I listen. Asking can be the "easy" part of the purpose focus. Certainly I can fold my hands, bow my head, and talk to God. The hard part comes in the waiting, the nudging, that only God can provide to us. Yet, when we listen and follow His purpose, our lives do become fulfilled.
Our purposes are all different. PLEASE don't compare purposes to each other. Remember, if the purpose is coming from God, then it is the right purpose for you. Years ago, my friend Marcia and I were Sunday School teachers for little tots. I had never imagined that my life would have taken me there, but that weekly purpose didn't just provide amazing gifts of God's love in the children we taught, it provided purpose and love in my heart. Purpose then drove me to lead some Bible Studies. Although I pray that the studies brought enlightenment for many, it was my own personal growth in the Word that helped me to understand scripture.
When God took me on this journey of blog writing, it started as participation with an on-line Bible Study. Yet, with His grace, mercy, and nudging, I continue. His words come through me to you. I have heard from so many of you how His words have blessed you. Yet, once again, it is the blessings I receive when I write and hear from you that help me to know that this current path God put me on is a blessed one.
Our purposes don't have to be large and difficult. Some find purpose in mission trips. Others in the pastoral call. Others in positions of evangelism and stewardship. Many books have been penned about this subject. Certainly one I have always enjoyed is Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life". It definitely assists on the journey of finding one's purpose.
The important thing to remember is that our purpose, great or small, is not OUR purpose, but GOD'S purpose, when we listen with our heart. Listen to His nudging, follow through on the purpose. It may be for a certain day, a week, a season of life or a lifetime. Just stop, look through the window at the stillness and beauty. His purpose will be set into your heart.
"Heavenly Father, your purpose is one that fully completes us, that gives our hearts love. We ask that as we come to you, asking what our journey is, that you help us to be still and listen, and share with us your vision for our lives. May we then respond in kind, following the purpose you provide us. Amen."