I have asked myself those two questions for most of my adult life. In fact, I have asked these very questions since I was a child. It is these two questions that have dumbfounded me more than the mysteries of the universe. It is a terrible and frightening thing to ponder through life, not knowing who you are, where you are going, and your life purpose. I believe that knowing your purpose in life supersedes and satisfies more than any material gain or prestigious award. Likewise, not knowing your purpose creates this void and emptiness that cannot be filled no matter how much good intentions you pour into it.
In my book, “I Choose to Win,” I chronicle my journey from fear to faith, from uncertainty to a definite purpose, and from victim to victor. In my book, I highlight how God uses the pain we encounter in our journey to birth our life’s purpose. Because I truly believe that God has put the potential for greatness in every human being. In the book of “Jerimiah,” God tells the Prophet Jerimiah He had chosen him while still in his mother’s womb to be God’s voice to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5). No, I am not suggesting that God wants us to be prophets, but I believe that God has given us all a unique purpose for our lives to share with the world.
The problem is that some of us spend the prime years of our lives chasing someone else’s expectations for us instead of God’s plan for our lives. To be honest, I was never taught about living a PURPOSE driven life. How about you? From grade school on, we are told to get good grades in school, go to college, choose a good degree plan, and get a high paying job to have a comfortable life. Don’t get me wrong; getting an education is a great thing, and in today’s time, it is a must. However, an education not tied to purpose is like shooting at an invisible target. Online research suggests that only 27 percent of college grads work in their field of study. Sadly many graduates enter the corporate world without true knowledge of purpose beyond chasing the American dream. Then like a derailed train, life can suddenly feel off track, and those two nagging questions smack you dead in the face. Who am I? Where am I going?
I began to wonder about how happy and satisfied people are with their lives globally. So naturally, I searched the web. As expected, a floodgate of information and statistics, etc. pre and post COVID-19 had filled my browser. Now I am not an expert, so I will not try to break down all of that egghead jargon I found. Though the stats showed that before COVID-19, some people are generally happy. It also revealed that the level of happiness is tied to one’s quality of life. I also found that the unhappiness level is steadily rising, particularly in the United States, due to increasing addictions of all types. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. It has decimated industries and has caused economic distress globally. It has caused social unrest, increased stress on families, and put a strain on marriages. So one has to ask, is our happiness conditional? I am not taking the effects lightly the pandemic has had on the world. WE ALL ARE FEELING THIS THING! I believe that there can be no true happiness if there is no PURPOSE. Our purpose does not stop when a crisis hits. And I know it is easier said than done. Trust me, I have been there. And maybe HAPPINESS is the wrong word but consider what the apostle Paul says:
I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 HCSB)
Living a purpose-filled life does not mean you have to travel to some remote part of the planet, live in a hut, and be a missionary. Nor does it mean that you have become a wealthy philanthropist donating millions to charity. However, what it does mean is doing that one thing God has crafted and uniquely equipped you with and sharing it with the world for God’s glory. Sometimes doing so may bring you great wealth, or it may put you on the mission field. Either way, whatever your purpose is, God will give you the grace to do it with excellence and have total satisfaction doing so. Consider God’s words:
For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 HCSB)
Yes, God has an awesome plan and future for us. All we have to do is surrender our hearts to Him and trust that He will guide us on His divine path—a path filled with purpose and meaning.
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 HCSB)
God created us to live an abundant purpose-filled life that brings glory to Him. He never intended for any of us to drift aimlessly through life in the sea of mediocrity. WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS! So tell me. Who are you? Where are you going?
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Perry L Walker jr