I envision a world where we step into our purpose by growing.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NIV)
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31 NIV)
I realized that when God created us, he wired us in our own unique way. All of us have something that we’re good at, that we enjoy doing without being asked to do. Of course, I’m not talking about hedonistic pleasures like eating junk food all day or watching TV all day and vegging out. For me, it is reading and writing. For others, like my son, it might be singing. For others still, it might be cooking, drawing, teaching, easily getting along with anyone, cleaning, working with hands, studying, etc. Whatever the case may be, we all have something that we can say that we are good at, or at least, that we like to do. This is because God created us that way.
Let me give you an example of a cup. Let’s say that someone has never seen a cup. She doesn’t know what it is for. So she tries different things. She fills it up with water and puts a flower in it. She turns it over upside down and puts an apple on it. She may put it sideways and use it to roll out some dough. However she uses it, it works…ok. Then she decides to pour some juice into the cup and drinks out of it. ‘Ahh,’ she thinks, ‘This is how I will use this cup.’ And the maker who made the cup saw that it was good.
God says that he knew us even before we came into being.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)
God thought about us before he created us. He had a specific purpose in creating us just as the maker of the cup must have had a specific purpose in making the cup. When we are born, God speaks to us through what we do. We do certain things naturally and easily without being told to do and we like it because that is what God created us to do. An eternity ago, God thought about us, he designed us, then He created us, then we came into being. When we are little, before being tainted and brainwashed, we naturally did what He created us to do. But the Bible tells us that, in the beginning of humanity, sin and curse entered the world. Even our minds became cursed through Satan’s deceptions. Generation after generation, we are deceived into doing what we are supposed to do by the worldly standards, not what we want to do or were created to do.
Sure, we can live a good-enough life just the way that a cup can be used as a vase instead of a cup. It can suffice. As an attorney, I can live a good-enough life. In fact, reading and writing, albeit in a different way, are what I was wired to do. I’m still utilizing my talents as I practice law. I can do an adequate or a very good job at being an attorney. There are so many of us highly educated and skilled that even if we’re not fully functioning in our original purpose, we will reach certain success due to our education, upbringing, surroundings, what have you. But we are still living in the periphery.
Imagine a bullseye and you circling around the bullseye. You might be within a very small radius of the bullseye but you are not quite hitting it. Can you live with it? A lot of us do. I certainly did for the past 45 years. Moses did for 80 years, so it makes me feel a little better.
Sooner or later, we face our life’s deepest questions, “What is my purpose?” What did the Creator have in mind when He created me? Why did God give me a talent of writing, singing, cooking, etc.? What am I supposed to do with it? Why doesn’t God speak to me the way God spoke to Moses or Jeremiah and tell me exactly what He made me to do? My response to that is, He did: loud and clear. This is when the old cliché knocks you over the head, “action speaks louder than words.”
Your purpose was revealed to you by what you liked to do when you were little. Whatever that is, that is what you were created to do. Imagine doing the thing that you always liked to do as your work. You do what you want to do all day and every day, sometimes 8 hours a day, sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day and you don’t even ask for overtime pay because you like it so much. Would you be successful? Most certainly. Would you be happy? Absolutely. Would you be unstoppable? Definitely. And this is why it was so important for Satan to deceive us and make us forget about our purpose. Because if we knew, we would be unstoppable! We would be the prophet to the nations and show off God’s design and show off God. When you are successful in what you do, wouldn’t people naturally want to be around you to hear what you have to say, to know your secrets, to follow what you do? Imagine the impact you will make with the unique commodity that God gave you. Just imagine! This, Satan cannot imagine. This is something he must take away from us.
In my journey into finding my purpose, I’ve heard many people saying that once you step into your purpose, the ‘universe’ will rearrange itself to open up new doors for you. For me the ‘universe’ is not the one doing the work. It is God. Let’s make that clear. It is God. He rearranges the universe to make new ways for you. God moves the universe for you.
But I really didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t see new doors opening for me, so it didn’t make sense to me. Then I, finally, came to my senses. It began to make perfect sense. God created the universe in perfect harmony, right? Every atom, every living being, the stars, the planets, everything fits in perfect harmony. In fact, the universe, motion, forces such as gravity, inertia, all these things can fit into perfect equations. Albeit, we’re still searching for some, there are precise equations that define the world around us. So, it makes perfect sense that in this universe, there is a precise place where we fit in. There is a you-shaped puzzle piece in the universe. Once you find the place where you-shaped puzzle piece is supposed to fit in and step into that space, the doors open. That portion of the universe becomes more complete with you-shaped puzzle piece in its place. Like a lock and key model, when you step in, the door opens.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
When I finally decided to step into my purpose as a writer and a speaker, I saw God opening new doors for me. As much as I wish I had found my purpose earlier, or to put it more correctly, never had lost my purpose in the first place, when I did find it, God had rearranged the universe in a way that I can start living out my purpose immediately. Not even a decade ago, if you wanted to get your writing out there, the general rule was that you had to write an entire book, find a publisher, and then get your book published.
As you may have heard, it took some of the greatest writers tens and hundreds of rejections before a publisher finally decided to publish their books. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected 12 times and J.K. Rowling was told “not to quit her day job.” Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love among many, had six years of rejection letters. When I found my purpose, the world of internet and blogs had opened up and it had become ubiquitous. Through this opening, I can step into my purpose without having to wait because the fact of the matter is, I had lost a lot of time already. How good God is! I decided that He opened up the world of internet just for me!
As we step into our purpose, a chain reaction follows. As I step into my me-shaped puzzle piece, my hope is that your heart will light up. And as you step into your you-shaped puzzle piece, you will light the heart of someone standing next to you. Then that person lights up the next, and then another, and then another. The reason why I am sharing my journey with you is because I need you to step into your puzzle piece for me to go further. The world needs your connection as the Christmas lights need all the connections to light up the tree: one broken piece breaks the chain.
As I came to my realization, it made perfect sense that if I want to achieve my dreams, I must help others achieve theirs. I have heard this many times: “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Zigler. There are many versions of this: “Find yourself in the service of others.” (Mahatma Gandhi); “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” (Charles Dickens); “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (Jesus Christ, John 15:12 NIV)
I think there’s more to this. I think the way God designed us is that, if you find your purpose, you will end up helping others whether you intended it or not. Helping others is a natural consequence of us finding our purpose. It’s a part of the universal law, the perfect equation in which to define the world that we live in. Put it another way, if your stepping into your purpose does not end up helping others, then you have not stepped into your purpose.
When you think you’ve found your purpose, you have to ask yourself if, by living out your purpose, you are truly helping others. It doesn’t have to be literally the way I am doing it highlighting someone’s vision and purpose. But your living out your purpose must bring encouragement, motivation, some kind of a spark in others. The question to ask is, ‘Are you lighting the spark in others through your fulfillment of God’s purpose for you?’ When you can answer that with certainty, then I believe you have found your purpose and now you are growing.