What Are You Doing With Your Life?
It’s part of the title of one of the best selling Christian books of all time–The Purpose Driven Life–but it’s something that everyone from the most devout Christian to the steadfastly staunch atheist seeks in life. Purpose. Everyone wants a purpose…to know that their life has meaning..to know they make a difference in this world.
When I think about purpose, I tend to lean on a verse from a book that, interestingly enough, is not in my Top 10 of favorite books of the Bible–Ephesians. Ephesians 2:10 says: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We were created for good works. That is our purpose. I really lean on this verse in times when I feel like what I’m doing is not having as great an impact as I’d like (most days), or feel like I should be doing something “bigger” or “greater” (only some days). I ask myself, “am I doing good works?” Not necessarily works that are going to radically alter someone’s life, create something entirely new or change the course of history, but am I doing good? Am I engaged in activities and using words that help and encourage and support people? If yes, then, great, I’m living into God’s purpose for me, even if I’m not breaking any glass ceilings or shattering the earth with my ideas.
If no, then maybe I should get off the couch or out of my bad mood and start doing and putting some better stuff out in the world.
Purpose is not always some grand, long-term plan that earns you a lifetime achievement award in the category of your choosing. It’s about how you live life day in and day out. I know, that’s not nearly as exciting, but much more do-able.
Even though we all have different gifts and abilities, the purpose we are all called to is using those gifts for good.
Sure, there will be times when we are stymied by what that might look like in a particular season of our lives, and there will be times when we are called to make a 180 and go in a completely different direction, but as long as we are doing good (not solving all the world’s problems or eradicating homelessness kind of good, but making our neighbor’s life better kind of good), we can be assured that we are living into our purpose. After all, it’s what we were created for.