The mystery that is life often has us wondering personally—when we achieve happiness—and happiness is important to us all (Christian or not)—“Why am I here?” and “How did I arrive here?” and “What can I possibly do to become and stay content?”
I have come to find through experience that contentment in life is so effuse with our purpose, i.e. our found purpose—what we do and how we do it—for we all have one.
Indeed, it is even possible (or better put, probable) that our purpose could be multi-faceted (compartmentalised) to several and even many purposes. But, there will always be a centralising theme resonant, underpinning it all—how we operate and what defines ‘us.’
We venture through life aimlessly when we’re without purpose; as if we’re stuck inside someone else’s home and not our own. This is not a nice feeling. We want to escape and this is no good at all if it’s our own lives we’re talking about.
This contributes to the lack of peace, and hence discontentment—and felt unhappiness, from tangible boredom to anxious fear, which we’ll experience. We’ve all been there and, in fact, we’re there in an instant at times—even on a purpose-driven path (to remind us of less palatable options awaiting us should we lose purpose).
People will say about Christianity, “(Without qualification) my identity’s in Christ.” I’m not sure I entirely buy that. I think Jesus always purposed for us to contextualise our felt identity, in him, via the way we interact with ourselves, other people and the world in general.
Of course, we know and should accept the theory that our identities are solidly based in God—without cause for what we do, per se.
But, we miss the point if we leave it there.
Our identity must be formed through self reflective effort on our own parts. Only through conducting such a practice—and ever so continually—can we attain a model of identity, and a faith, that stands up to the storms of life (and all else) as we’re personally concerned.
We’re forever held back and are somewhat disengaged to the true Spirit of God—the fuller experience—until we find that/those specific purpose(s) of our lives.
What If I’ve Searched and Searched and Still Have Not Found?
We mustn’t fret. God honours our efforts toward the acquisition of our purpose—for the most basic of intent is simply to serve and anyone can do that.
Our purpose is finding a personally-meaningful way of serving.
There is possibly an issue here, also, in terms of indecision—holding out for something ‘better.’ We all do it to some extent. And we’re not going to be ‘guns’ at everything.
There are many things we enjoy doing. Our purpose is simply about sowing more fully into these things to see where they take us; to see, for instance, if our enjoyment of a certain thing will morph into a talent and therefore something of value for use in God’s kingdom.
If we’ve searched and searched and searched and we still haven’t found what we’re looking for, we’re even more loath to give up searching, for real spiritual success—as far as purpose is concerned—is still on the horizon.
This is a very good thing. The best is, indeed, yet to come. Always is.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.