Many of us go through our lives and at some point spend time searching and wondering what our life’s purpose is. We may get discouraged because there are stretches where our days seem to lack meaning. We want to feel useful and like we are truly making a difference. Life is short, and we want to make sure we leave our footprint somewhere to let others know we were here and that we contributed.
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
God wants us to know though that he created us individually and put each of us on this earth as a part of his master plan. We each have a part to play in this larger plan while we are here, and it is up to us to listen, search and discover what that purpose is.
Some people discover their purpose earlier and some maybe not until later in life. There is a quote that says, “Moses was 80 before he started fulfilling his purpose. Relax, your day is coming.” The point though is that everyone has his or her own specific “mission” in life to carry out — it is up to us to figure out what that is and to allow it to flourish.
Perhaps each day has a purpose, but we only take notice of the days when the purpose seems, to us, important and worthy. Or maybe individual moments in our lives have magnificent purpose and maybe we should be concentrating on those moments instead of one gigantic life purpose. Possibly our purpose is all around us and we are so busy trying to find our grand purpose that we are blind to see we are already living it.
To notice our purpose we may need to listen to God more instead of searching the Internet for what we should do with our lives. Setting aside enough silence in our lives to hear what he is saying helps us not to force our plan prematurely ahead of his. One of the best things we can do is to keep our hearts open enough to hear him. If we listen, we can hear where he is guiding us and in turn, we will end up feeling fulfilled and happier than we ever thought possible.
For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8)
We are all unique, created with purpose by God and given gifts to share. Maybe you are a person who knows their gift and shares it openly. Or maybe you are a person who has many gifts. Whatever your gifts, use them. Share your gifts with others, and you may just happen upon why you are here.
Melanie Sextro is a military wife and mother to two sweet boys. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.