Our purpose, my purpose, your purpose … there has been many conversations about purpose over the past few years. For the most part, they have been good conversations; they have helped me look beyond myself and beyond today. I find comfort in the fact that my life has meaning, that there is a design and a plan for this crazy, messy life. The part I can get bogged down in, is finding that purpose. For sometime, I was looking for a magic formula, or a certain event, person or cause that would yell ‘purpose’ to me. Lately, I realize I have been trying to find my purpose by going the wrong way down a one-way street.
I started looking at it differently after reading this quote by theologian Howard Thurman … “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” I had thought when I find my purpose then I would really come alive and find fulfillment in life … but instead I need to come alive and then my life will be a life of purpose.
So, the focus shifted from finding my purpose (heavy and somber) to living life fully alive (energy and fun). I need to know me, to know what makes me come alive. I didn’t create myself, but I was created by the One that created all things, so that is the place to start. The maker knows me better than I know myself, so I need to have ongoing conversations with him. I also need to give myself time to reflect on life, to understand fully what makes me be alive. I need to be willing to … Be still and listen deeply for the truth that is carried on its winds – information about the past, wisdom about the present, and direction for the future. – Elizabeth Lesser