“Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?,” he asked Isabelle. “They are built to make you laugh, like the mouse here, or to tell the time, like clocks, or to fill you with wonder, like the automaton. Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do.”
Isabelle picked up the mouse, wound it again, and set it down.
Maybe it’s the same with people, ” Hugo continued. “If you lose your purpose…it’s like you’re broken.” (Brian Selznick, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”)
2011 was the Year of Purpose for me. After wandering far and wide and finding myself under the pinions of God’s wings…a safe place to be found, it was time to ponder why I felt like I had no purpose. I had come to understand that I was not lost or broken or afraid; I was actually found, restored and brave. But it was difficult to understand what God would want to do with a found, restored, brave woman formerly known as lost, broken and afraid? What hope was there for someone who had wandered into silent places?
I thought that I had lost my purpose. Or maybe never had one to begin with? I think that is what happens when you are a recovering people-pleaser, so much of your life gets wrapped up in what others expect of you, think of you, desire for you, or believe about you… that soon you expect, think, desire and believe many of those things about you too. It is difficult to understand purpose when you allow the “grownups” in your life to carry and shape that purpose for you. It’s difficult to find a voice of truth when so many people spread filth and lies and assumption. There’s a lot of BS in the world to wade through.
So God gave me a year of putting on waders while teaching me to sort the BS from the truth.
What is the Purpose of [wo]man?
In order to understand your own specific purpose you really have to understand what God’s purpose is for you as a human being. Why did He create you? Why are you on this planet at this specific time?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism which is “doctrinal standard of many Presbyterian churches” says:
What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
Our purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever?
Sometimes we try to make our lives too complicated. Our faith has to look a certain way. Our doctrine and beliefs have to line up just so. Our houses have to be organized and cataloge-esque. Our kids have to homeschool or public school or be early readers or …. We have to go to church in a certain way every week. We have to give 10% tithe - and we nickle and dime that down to the last penny. We have to have successful careers – and that success only looks one way: money, power, status and praise.
It was little wonder that my purpose got out of wack. God wasn’t the center anymore, but the VISION of A [wo]man was. As I’ve walked through three years of being sifted [Luke 22:31] - I’ve found it easier to worship the One True God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies. Because no longer is He my parents’ God. No longer is He my grandparents’ God or my pastor’s God or my mentor’s God – NOW He is mine.
I can’t wait to get up with Him at some horribly awful hour of the morning so that we can sit still together and meet in prayer. I can’t wait to spend time reading His word, praising His name, counting His blessings and offering gratitude for all that comes: good and bad.
Does this mean that I have a clear picture of where He will ask me to step and what will be on the path in the present or future? NO.
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” [1 Corinthians 13:12-13]
What it means is that when I pass through the fire… He’s gonna be there.
When the flood waters roll… He’s gonna be there.
When I’m rejected… He’s gonna be there.
When I’m afraid… He’s gonna be there.
When I feel lost and forsaken… He’s gonna be there.
When they speak lies against me… He’s gonna be there.
When strife and bitterness and anger are thrown my direction… He’s gonna be there.
When I want to quit… He’s gonna be there.
When the Enemy seeks to accuse and condemn my soul…. Jesus is sitting there advocating before the throne of God on my behalf. I am not alone.
My purpose is to glorify God – to praise Him, to worship Him, to seek His will, to quiet my heart before Him, to be silent more and speak less.
My purpose isn’t to write, to sing, to speak, to lead, to discuss, to encourage, or fill someone else’s shoes to meet a vision drawn by another human being.
My purpose – your purpose is all about Him.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
So I’m asking, “Why do you let THEM steal your Purpose?”
A complete listing of the posts in this series: