by Jill A. Williams
“What is your purpose?” This is a topic for discussion my youth group had recently. Most people hardly know what the meaning of purpose is, let alone how it relates to their lives. We tend to skip over such topics, don’t we? Why do we even need to know something like that? Is it so bad for me to choose to live life my way? Let’s delve deeper into this.
Aiming for greater
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Unknown
What sets your soul on fire? What in the world troubles your heart the most? These are questions which Pastor Andy Stanley advises one to ask when trying to figure out what their purpose is. That leads us to the Mzanzi definition of ‘purpose’: It is the activity that sparks or makes “the things which must be done to can happen.” It can be a word or statement that encapsulates what it is that God asks you to do on the earth. It can range from your personal to public life and asks of you to extend beyond what you currently believe to be the ‘norm.’
Like a wrecking ball
On this journey of discovery – of who we are and ultimately of who God is – we are bound to make mistakes. There comes a time in life when it feels like a wrecking-ball has swung through you, destroying everything you held dear. If you’re anything like me, those are the parts of my walk with God that I ‘hate to love’. As painful as the pruning and testing is, God always shows himself to be greater. This is what Amanda Cook sings in Pieces: “You don’t give your heart in pieces; you don’t hide yourself to tease us.” God gives us opportunities to grow, especially when he seems to be ‘hiding’ himself. He doesn’t do a ‘half-job’ and when he intends for us to learn from a mistake, that is exactly what we’ll do.
Pope Francis, in a series of audience talks on Christian hope, reflected on this topic through a reading from John 1:35-43. He relayed that Jesus, who had sensed the disciples’ yearning for something greater, asked them: “What are you looking for?” The pope claimed that young people who lack this restlessness and yearning, “Are not young. They have gone into early retirement, they have aged before their time.” To this he added: “It is sad to see young people in retirement.” Are you among the ‘early-retired squad?’ (I sure don’t want to be!)
How wonderful it is to know that Jesus is intensely interested in the desires of our heart! He wants to give us what our heart longs for because, when we seek after him, he aligns our yearnings with his. So the Christian remix of Selena Gomez’s song would have said, “Our hearts want what His wants.”
Step into your miracle
You need to “set your mind on things that are above” (Col 3:2-10) and not on the broken pieces of your life laying before you. We need to remind ourselves that we are a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”(1 Pet 2:9). If there’s one thing that the youth of 1976 taught us, it is to be ACTIVE in our faith and not be complacent. Make the first step into what might turn out to be a miracle!
I recently watched an interview of Juanita Bynum, an author, singer and songwriter. Amongst other things, she explained that whatever happens to us physically, is linked to something happening in the spiritual realm. Forgetting this, I went about my day doing what I had to, and found that I kept on dropping items on the floor. I kept focusing on how clumsy I was being and that I should be more careful, which is true, until the Holy Spirit uploaded a higher truth into me… “Dearly beloved, things aren’t falling apart, they’re falling into place.” *drops mic, walks off stage*.
So, stop beating yourself over the process. Whatever is happening to you is leading you to a greater revelation of who God is and who you are in him. Fall or you’ll never be able to rise; “Seek, and you will find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.”(Mat 7:7)