One question seems to always follow you, no matter where you go or how old you get.
It begins in elementary school, when you are asked to answer it in the form of a crayon-scrawled picture.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When you graduate high school the question becomes much more urgent as you frantically try to decide the college major that will forever shape your life.
Then, after years of education, you approach the final semester of your degree…just for that same question to keep you up at night!
Before you know it, you’re in your 40s and no one is asking you that question. But you still ask yourself, What am I supposed to do with my life?
You are normal for asking this question.
Don’t worry. Chances are you are not going through an identity crisis.
God created us with a purpose. So it’s completely natural for you to want to know what that purpose is. Every single person on the planet has a desire within them to have a purpose.
Don’t put God in a box.
It was at the age of 18 that I realized my life’s ambition to be a motivational speaker.
To many, that sounded like a pie in the sky dream. As the years went by and I moved through multiple jobs that couldn’t be further away from my dream, I probably would have agreed with my critics. Everyone told me I needed to write a book or do something else before I could ever become a speaker.
There is some wisdom to all of the comments I received and still receive, but one thing I know for sure is that God isn’t stuck in a box.
He has created us to pursue Him and bring Him glory – there are so many different ways we can do that. It doesn’t have to be just one career or one aspect of life. To view God’s plan for your life that way would mean you’re not actually doing what God created you to do until you have reached that one point in your life.
For most people, that would mean they only live their purpose in the last half of their life.
Is that really what God created us for? To live our lives playing a guessing game trying to figure out what we are supposed to do, only to figure it out at the end of life?
No! God is so much bigger than that.
As I continue to draw closer to God, to learn more about Him and myself, I have realized that I’m living my purpose when I pursue Him. For some reason we make it complicated. As I have begun to develop and learn my gifts, I can use them for the glory of God.
Never in a million years would I have called myself a writer. It wasn’t something I considered myself good at. I still wouldn’t say I’m deeply passionate about it. But I do enjoy it. And as I refine and learn more about this gift of writing, I have pursued it. And now, as I have begun to invest a more in writing I have begun to see this gift take root in my life.
Over the last year, the theme of my life has been writing. Opportunities at church, at work, and in my own personal life have all been centered around writing. I didn’t even know I was good at it or that it was something I wanted in life. Yet, here I am pursuing and developing what God has given me.
That is what living your purpose looks like. Don’t put God in a box and limit Him to one piece of your life.
Stop making it complicated.
I have been in countless conversations with friends and family about what they are supposed to do with their lives. This question does not discriminate against age or gender. We all just want to know what our purpose is.
Honestly, we make this far too complicated.
We create personality tests and career driven questionnaires to help us figure out what we are supposed to do. They will help us see patterns and trends in our lives. But they can’t give you the answer you truly desire.
We all have one purpose: to bring glory to God.
How we live out that purpose spreads far and wide. It looks unique to who you are and how God created you. What is your purpose? To glorify God. How do you live out that purpose? By learning and developing the gifts and talents God created you with and intentionally using them for His glory.
Pursue God in relationship.
The best way to determine your individual purpose is to pursue God fully. It is only through this pursuit that anything else will matter. Your work, school, friendships, and everything you put energy into should be carried out in the ultimate pursuit of God.
When you pursue God in relationship, He will give you something that will outlast you. Something far greater than anything you could have hoped to achieve.
At 18 years old, I would have never guessed the many job positions and places God would take me as I attempted to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. But God has used each of those seasons to not only reveal my strengths and gifts, but develop them too.
I have enjoyed this journey God has taken me on. Whether or not He is preparing me for something else to come, I will choose to pursue Him where I am. Where I am right now is part of living out the purpose God created me for.
The best part is that it’s an adventure.
We aren’t robots designed in a factory to perform one task and nothing else. God has created you with multiple gifts and talents that you can pursue throughout your life.
Rest assured. If you pursue God fully, you are living your purpose.