Mark Twain once said, “There are two great days in a person’s life, the day that their born and the day that they discover why they were born.”
Discovering our purpose in life is something that at one point or another we all wrestle with. It’s one of those things that we can’t ignore. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things with which we wrestle as we head off to college.
We’ve got some kind of an idea, some kind of direction. We hope that as we start moving forward that things will fall into place and make sense for us. We hope that all of a sudden it becomes clear; this is my purpose.
Each of us have purpose and discovering it is one of the most important and life changing things we’ll do.
Ephesians 2:10 says “you are my workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that you should walk in them.” God created you on purpose, for a purpose. He designed you in a specific way, for specific good works. As you discover that purpose you get to walk in that purpose.
Now, before you go get all stressed out and blow a fuse, take a deep breath and relax a bit. I don’t think discovering purpose is actually as hard as we make it to be. If I believe that God created me then I can start by looking at how God designed me. The overwhelming question of “What is my purpose?” gets brought down to a much more manageable starting point. My design will reveal my destiny.
There are two questions I think we all need to ask ourselves when it comes to discovering our purpose. First, what are the passions God has given me? What is it I love to do? Our passions often reveal our purpose. What we love to do is often what we should do. Figure that out, but then don’t stop there.
Secondly, what am I good at? Unfortunately, we can be passionate about things that we’re not good at. I know our well-meaning parents may have told us that we can be anything that we want to be but that’s not true. (Take “American Idol,” for example).
God has given you gifts. What are those gifts? What are the things you’re good at and come a little more naturally to you than maybe they do to others? Maybe you’re good at making people feel welcomed or you’re good at organizing chaos. Whatever it is, God’s purpose for you exists within you in the form of those gifts. Find those gifts, sharpen those gifts and use them.
When we align our passions and gifts something powerful happens. Many people will ride that wave into what we would call success. There is nothing wrong with success, but if we think it’s our purpose, we quickly discover that our hearts are longing for something more. God has designed us for more than success, he’s created us for significance.
Significance is only found when we learn to move beyond ourselves and to use the passions and gifts God has given us to change the world around us.
You’re a world changer and a difference maker. Finding ourselves is important, but it’s not until we lose ourselves in serving him, his people and the world. He loves that we glorify God and discover our purpose.
Chris Norman is the pastor at Citizens Church. Worship services are held on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at The Fox Event Center in Redlands. More information is found on citizenschurch.org