I piled my kids into the car one morning when my daughter explained to me that she didn’t want to know her purpose. Once I recovered from shock, I attempted to fix the situation. The word “purpose” has been the propeller to my life. So when my daughter told me she didn’t want to find her purpose, it floored me. How could you not want to find out what you were created for, or how you were specially tasked to help people? Her reasons were the following:
1.“If I find my purpose, my entire life will be boring.”
2.“If I find my purpose, God will be done with me and I will die.”
It wasn’t audible, but I believe God saved me by immediately bringing the life of King David to mind. I asked my daughter what David’s purpose was. “He was a king,” she responded. Now, how many different paths did he travel to get there? We walked through it together. He was a shepherd who became a small but mighty warrior who fought Goliath, and eventually stepped into his role as the chosen, anointed king of Israel. However, which of these was his purpose?
Purpose is a path, and God used each piece of David’s story to fulfill a purpose in his life; just as God is using every piece of my daughter’s life purposefully. God has used her to teach me about love. I did not fully understand the love of God as a parent until I had a child. Without doing a single thing, just by being born, my daughter fulfilled the purpose of teaching me about God’s love. Imagine the ways in which you have fulfilled a purpose without even knowing it. Throughout my life, I have failed to let cars ahead of me on the road, failed to smile back, hurt another person’s feelings, and God has used that to teach another person how to forgive.
This also helps to explain why we don’t die once we complete one major goal in life. What you may see as your reason for living, is not necessarily what you were created for. Your purpose is intertwined within the path to all of the goals placed in your heart.
This realization helped me to see that I was looking at purpose as if it was a target, not a path. Instead of viewing each morning as an opportunity to learn something new, connect with someone, or live in the moment as a mom, I struggled with this view of purpose as something that was just out of reach. This “path” was unattainable, in the worst possible way. It was the carrot dangling in front of my face, separated by a stick and a string; close enough to keep me going, but far enough to cause frustration and distract me from what is most important.
I am by no means the poster child for being tech-free, but I am starting to exercise phone-free days in my home, and it has provided a sense of peace. Imagine a day where you live each moment with intention and purpose–when you use your phone for a reason, and not just as a reflex to an unsettling silence or temporary boredom. Choose one day of the week and declare it “Tech Free.” Replace Netflix with books, board games, and puzzles. Take an evening stroll. These kind of choices can help us remain on our path of purpose. The possibilities are endless and so much richer than you might imagine. Distraction can derail you. Through living with intention, we can stay on our path and become aware of the ways in which you were created to make a difference.