As I pass the five-year anniversary of this blog, I have taken some time to reflect over the topics I have shared since I started writing. I have covered just about all aspects of my Christian walk and along the way I have told some personal stories from my life. It is hard for me to write about someone or something that I do not have a connection with. I have tried to be open and be “real” in the sense that most of the advice and experiences I’ve shared are things that actually happened to me.
I’ve talked about some things that I am not proud of and I have shared most of my failures and even some of my victories. If you take the time to go back and read the archives of the posts from when I started writing you would find me in a different place in life than I am today. A mere five years ago, I was still very bitter and unforgiving of those that I felt turned their back on me when I struggled in life and my Spiritual walk.
I struggled with losing my ministry and I struggled with the realization that I was the only one to blame. I could not find peace and I could not forgive myself for the damage I had done to my kids, not to mention what I did to my relationship with God.
Many people never really find their purpose in life as it pertains to their relationship with God. They spend their life trying to find it and they viewed their “purpose in life” as something that they would find in their future. I found “my purpose” very early in life. As a believer, when you were right where you were meant to be, doing exactly what God had intended for you to do it is easy to know what your purpose in life is. Lose that and your life is suddenly in a free fall. This is what happened to me. I lost my purpose and I experienced fifteen years of really dark times in my spiritual walk.
I had lost my purpose in life as it related to my relationship with Jesus Christ. I remember desperately longing to know my purpose and wondering if I was ever going to find it again. For years, I couldn’t relax in my life (and otherwise) for fear that I was so off course and somehow I would never be used of God again.
That is when I found my pen again. I say “again” because years ago I would write and share my ramblings and perspectives of a young man trying to find his way through this life. I have stashed away dozens of those notebooks from that period of my life. I have made sure that they will never ever re-surface or be read again… at least not while I am alive.
Whether or not people read the words I write is really not that important. God knows the words I write because they are the words that reflect my heart. It has been a wonderful experience and I have no doubt that writing this blog was what I was supposed to do over these past five years. It was my purpose in life. It was what I was supposed to do and more importantly it was a way I could still share my faith and have a part in a ministry that could help others in their walk with Christ.
What I have learned is that in spite of the failures in my life, God can still use me. I have failed a thousand different ways over the years and when I came back to Him, He was faithful and true to forgive me and though I cannot be used in the same way He did years ago. He still has a purpose for my life.
Probably that is the underlying theme of this blog. It has been about trying to find “what the purpose in life” is after you have failed in your Christian walk with the Lord. Can you relate?
How can you know and find life’s purpose? I don’t suggest that you follow my lead in your journey trying to discover it because I know that God had a different plan for me and I am the one that took the detour from the original plan He had for my life.
But this is the truth I have discovered. The phrase, “What is my life’s purpose?” is one of the least helpful questions you can ask yourself. Why? Because here’s the thing – it’s unanswerable. We’re obsessing over a question we don’t have the capacity to answer. It is no wonder why people struggle with finding it. Purpose in life is not something that is found in the future. Rather it is found in your words, actions and thoughts that you have today.
There is a better question for all of us, one that will help focus our efforts on today and lead us where we belong tomorrow. We need to ask ourselves, “What is my purpose for today?”
This is the real stuff that makes a life. What is my purpose…today.
Today… am I passionately pursuing the things I know to do?
Today… am I listening to the stirring from God inside me that’s calling me forward?
For years I was so worried about what my future “purpose” was going to look like that I missed what it was supposed to be today. Will I have a great future moment in history? Probably not. Will I do or say something someday in the future that will change the world? I doubt it. Do I know what my “future” purpose in life is? I have to say no. How could I?
What I do know is that I have to write this post today to release when I am done as planned.
Will I feel like I’ve “arrived” by having accomplished any of these things? Will trumpets sound; will I receive an award? No. But by completing my purpose for today, I’m setting up myself for tomorrow. And by completing my purpose tomorrow, I’ll set up myself for the next day.
It may seem obvious, but look around. How many people in your life are waiting for some big revelation before they’ll start doing something for God? As we do the things we know to do (especially the hard things), we stumble into things we could never plan and in the process, we change our world in a thousand ways.
You have an ultimate purpose, and in the scheme of life, I’ll bet it’s something that God will be pleased in. Your purpose “today” will get you there. How do you know what your next purpose is? I can’t say for sure, but it starts today… not tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. It starts with the needs of those who are directly in your life. Seems like a worthy place to start to me.
So maybe it’s time to give up trying to solve the unsolvable, time to give up what’s unknowable. Time to stop focusing on things that are unseeable.
Maybe it’s time to ditch the question, “What is my purpose in life?”
And replace it with, “What is my purpose for today?
For those of you that have played along over these five years and have witnessed the progression in my life, I want to say thank you and I hope that you find God’s purpose for your life … today.