What is it that you wanted to be as a kid? Was it an astronaut, a doctor, or like my oldest son as a toddler indicated – a fireman?
These juvenile dreams may be quite telling in what one’s purpose in life is meant to be, and shouldn’t be so easily discounted.
Finding one’s passion particularly later in life can be quite tricky. Last week we discussed the topic of pain, as a possible aid to anchoring purpose, this week we focus on our gifts, talents and desires towards the same goal – discovering your purpose.
In the past several years it has almost become common knowledge that millennials of today (young people ages 18-35) don’t seem to have high aspirations as their forefathers did. These youngsters have been prematurely jaded by multifaceted stresses of our contemporary world (parents failed marriages, empty government promises, and collapse of moral integrity in national leaders to name a few)
God’s answer to this crisis of lack of hope in our day and age, is to go back to our reason for being. Scripture reveals that God created us with purpose, and intentionality, and specific plans in mind
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Thus surely if we were created with a purpose, then a sense of our destiny may have been with us from our innocent childhood years, right up till the present moment.
Personally, as a child I was a natural leader. I seemed to have a knack of getting my friends to do my work. I had a rapport with these youngsters, and they would be willing to help me in basic household chores, just so that I could be off with them playing in the community.
Fast forward 16 years later, I find myself at a youth retreat as a counsellor. An older gentleman whom I had never met was conducting the services that impacted these youth powerfully. At one point during the weekend, I caught his attention and he indicated that my natural giftings were going to be a tool used by God to bring many people together for the work of His Kingdom.
A few years later, I quit my secular job as a computer programmer and went into ministry. Unbeknownst to me my work peers (many of whom were non believers) had seen an ability to connect and influence people markedly in my life. Upon hearing of my impending change of careers, they remarked that this was a natural move and that it made perfect sense.
Today, over 30 years after my experience with my young friends, I am a lead pastor at a thriving church, where I use my gifts, passions and talents to influence people for God’s kingdom.
Do you see the connecting thread through these rapid snapshots of my journey?
It all began with my key gifts as a youngster.
Can you think back to your childhood, teenage hood, or young adult hood? What are some key themes in your life, that you would say were natural or divinely implanted. Are these gifts operating in your everyday life, in a way that is fulfilling, meaningful and building the kingdom of God.
As I conclude this segment of discovering your purpose through passion, I leave you with a few questions that if answered carefully and reflectively may help you discover your purpose:
– What excites you?
– What keeps you up late at night?
– What would you do, and not get paid for?
– What have others consistently indicated about you that were your natural gifts?
– How is God using these gifts in your life right now?
As you take the time to pray, and and answer these questions, I trust God will reveal or amplify your passions, and propel you to further intentionality towards operating in your life purpose.
– Pastor Olu Jegede