We Have Lost Our Way - Finding Your Purpose, Again
Far too often in life, our faith grows weak and we lose our sense of purpose. Most people are walking around wondering aimlessly, trying to figure out why they exist or for what purpose are they even alive.
Often this feeling of hopelessness is compounded by tragedy, financial issues, marital woes or loneliness.
We hear all the time that "God has a purpose for your life," and although truthful, how often have we replied with "That's great! I just wish He'd tell me what it is!"
Does that sound like you? Have you become frustrated trying to figure out what God's purpose is for your life and why you are even here?
Let me start with the simple answer, first. God's purpose for your life is simple, and not quite as complex as we have made it! His purpose for every single one of us is to serve and love others.
What? But what about me? What about my needs, wants, desires, dreams, goals? When are they going to be met?
Everyone wants and needs to be loved. But, we must be careful that we don't allow our own needs and desires to corrupt our purpose in God's plan. Hopelessness is often the by-product of selfishness. And, although we don't consider ourselves selfish, it is human nature to be selfish.
From the time we are children, we are taught that the world revolves around us. Our parents provide for everything from clothing to food, shelter to medical care, toys to entertainment, and everything else for the first 18 years of life. As we grow older, hopefully they teach us how to become more independent and less reliable upon them for all our needs and wants, while also learning how to serve and care for others in the process.
Sadly, most people growing up in the current generation have never been taught those values, and many still think the world revolves around them and not others.
When we feel a sense of worthlessness, hopelessness, or loneliness, it is often because we have lost our way.
Our focus is no longer on helping others, but now focused inward and on our own desires and needs.
Don't get me wrong! We do have to have our needs met or we will become so empty we cannot help others. Much like the instruction given to passengers on a jet airliner, when the flight attendant informs us that should the plane lose cabin pressure, oxygen masks will be deployed and we are to secure our own mask prior to helping others.
The intent is not to give preferential treatment to our selfish desires - NO! The intent is to equip us with the ability to help others who can't help themselves.
The same holds true to God's purpose for our lives. We cannot help others if we are depleted ourselves.
Yet, we must create balance so that we don't become so self-centered we lose our way and stop helping others.
We need not look any further than Christ's example.
Jesus' sole purpose was to come to earth to save the world from sin. His intent was to teach by example how to serve and love others. Yet, He never neglected His own well-being.
How often do we read in the Scriptures about Jesus going off to pray by Himself or journey in the wilderness for 40 days and nights? He knew the importance of solitude at times, in order to refresh, replenish, revive, and renew Himself for the purpose God had for His life. He did this because He knew He needed to be equipped and strengthened to help others.
In the end, He gave it all. He gave everything He had, including His own life, to fulfill His purpose.
And never once did He look down on the people and say, "What about Me?"
Our time on earth is but a vapor. It comes and goes so quickly! Our intention should be to serve and love others at all times. We should be the example of Christ to all people.
Jesus clearly had an advantage we do not have. He was not only God's Son, but also sinless, perfect, and without fault of any kind - something we don't share or possess. Yet, His final gift to each of us was grace - the ability to not be perfect, but represent Him by wearing His uniform despite our imperfections.
So, when you are feeling lost and without a sense of purpose, realize that your purpose is not far off. You are to love others as you desire to be loved. You are to give as you desire to receive. You are to do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. And be Christ's missionary during your time on earth.
And here is a harsh reality - you will most likely not receive the same love or fulfillment as you would hope for, simply because the people you are serving and love may not be as equipped as you to give back. Therefore, you must rely upon God to meet those needs and strengthen you, because He is the only One equipped and reliable to do so.
Be sure to read my article: Serving Others - God's Purpose to learn more about how serving and loving others will help you feel more satisfied with this life, too!
Until next time...