Our Path to Purpose

What’s our purpose in life? Why are we here? What are we supposed to do each day, each month, each year? Do all of us have a purpose, or only some of us?

Throughout history people have pursued transcendent purpose in life.

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher from 3rd century B.C. said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Happiness? How do we define happiness? That seems to miss the mark.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 19th century American poet, disagreed with Aristotle. Emerson suggested, “The purpose of life is NOT to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” This sounds good, but it remains vague.

Paul David Hewson, a musician, songwriter, and philanthropist, was born in 1960. You may know him as Bono, the frontman for the Irish band U2. Bono shared his view on purpose: “When you align yourself with God’s purpose as described in the Scriptures, something special happens to your life.” Aligning ourselves with God’s purpose––God’s will. THIS describes how we set our compass toward purpose-filled life.

As we journey through life, where would our path take us if we set our compass toward purpose-filled life?

In my “BC” years (“before Christ”), I lived with a desperate need for purpose. I did everything I could to generate lofty goals, outperform expectations, and fill my emptiness with activity. Even though my life looked shiny and bright on the outside, I languished in a dark pit. I struggled with depression because nothing I did brought me any closer to finding my purpose.

Then a friend gave me the book Purpose Driven Life. As I read it, I started down a new path that brought me to Jesus. I set my compass to what God promised would bring purpose to my life.

One of the first Scriptures God led me to was 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

This IS God’s will for you. This IS God’s will for me. FINALLY! This is where we find our purpose. Paul’s message to the Thessalonians is the same message for us today:

Choosing Christ unveils our path to purpose.

In three short verses, Paul tells us how to find the path to purpose in our life. View these as stepping stones across a creek which allow us to cross into the richness of God’s will. Paul gives three specific stepping stones in our path to purpose:

  • Be joyful always. Be glad, be delighted, be full of joy! You would think that for someone like me named “Joy” being joyful would be easy. Unfortunately, all of my life I have struggled with being joyful. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This doesn’t mean, “Delight in God and He will give you what you want.” It DOES mean, ”Delight in God, and He will place His desires upon your heart, and they will become your desires.” This is how the Holy Spirit works in us to bring joy. Paul’s command “be joyful” means “choose Christ and His joy”. Our response is either “yes I will” or “no I won’t”. 
  • Pray continually. Prayer doesn’t come naturally for most of us. We learn to pray. And one thing we have to learn: Prayer is a two-way conversation between us and Jesus. In two-way conversation, we show interest in the other person, ask them questions, and allow them to respond. God wants us to connect with Him in prayer, and choosing Christ in prayer means we believe He hears our prayers, we expect that He will respond, and we give Him the opportunity to respond by waiting and listening.  And Paul takes it one step further by saying, “Pray continually.” Pray moment by moment. Cultivate a dialogue with God throughout the day. This is something I’m still learning. God wants to be a part of our thought-life, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in busyness. Sometimes we need to hit pause and pray.
  • Give thanks in all circumstances. Paul says we’re to be thankful IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances. Not all circumstances are good. We live in a fallen world with fallen people. Understanding the difference between “thankful in” versus “thankful for” has helped me to persevere. Storms will come. For all of us. You may be in the middle of a dark storm right now. You don’t have to be thankful FOR that storm. But, in the midst of our storms and our fears, we can find peace and hope when we turn to God. He will redeem our storms as He shepherds us forward in purpose.

Friends, God has created a path of purpose for each one of us. As we continue moving forward with Jesus step-by-step, God transforms us to be more like Christ. He wants us to live in the fullness of Christ in all circumstances.

You can live in the freedom that comes through choosing joy regardless of circumstances.

You can take hold of the strength that comes through learning to pray continually.

You can bear witness to Christ by giving thanks in all circumstances.

And you can get excited about living a high-impact life in God’s will.

This is God’s will for you today!

You have an incredibly important purpose in life, marked out by God Himself. Choosing to walk with Christ unveils the steps in our transcendent purpose. More on this next time.

Growth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Why This Workplace

Work can feel like a grind rather than something we would choose. If we had a choice. Full-time workers spend more waking hours each week working than any other activity. But, we can experience peace and purpose in the here and now. Continue reading

Growth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

But... God

Mental health has taken center stage because people still struggle in a “not normal” new normal. Our mental dialogue can actually drain us of positive outlook and both mental and physical strength. How do we disempower our insecurities? Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Set Aside Your Mourning Clothes

The last two years have been a time of prolonged loss, anxiety, and uncertainty for many of us. And whether or not we remember when we put on our mourning clothes, many of us struggle with when we should take them off. How do we know? Continue reading

Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Finish Strong Day-By-Day

The start of your life journey doesn’t define you, and it will forever remain behind you. Our “finish” has yet to be written. Finishing strong begins with one good, God-centric next step. Start here: What do you want your “finish” to look like? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Our Greatest Work

As we continue to emerge from a long season of uncertainty and isolation, we eagerly look ahead and begin envisioning new goals and even new dreams. How do we find re-energizing purpose in our everyday life, regardless of circumstances? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

No Room in the Inn

The angel affirmed, “Nothing is impossible with God!” Yet Mary gave birth to God incarnate in a barn because there was no room for them in the inn. God chose not to make room for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in comfort. Why… Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Thankfulness As Our Purpose

As the calendar winds down on another unprecedented year, we gladly enter this joyful season of giving and thanksgiving. Many of us feel a gentle nudge toward understanding God’s call to purposeful daily life. Have you ever asked God about His will for your life? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Lies in Dark Chocolate

Research affirms that our happiness increases when we feel seen, heard, and loved. As women, we have an innate desire to belong. But finding community and cultivating new friendships with people who “get” you and welcome you without judgement––can feel near impossible. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

The Secret to Beautiful Feet

These days, we have access to more foot products than ever before. But feet aren’t judged on the way they look. Feet are judged on the message they carry. So what’s the secret to beautiful feet? Beautiful feet bring… Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Women & Work: A Critical Crossroads

All of us have experienced change and transition recently. But whether yours has been a season of loss, new beginnings, or both, one constant remains: you have been created for, and called to, purposeful work in your everyday workplace. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Our Power Source

Difficult days of uncertainty and depletion lead to the question: What’s your power source? Consider light bulbs. Without a power source, they’re merely glass and metal without purpose. Once connected to their power source, they shine. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Don't Be Anxious?

Living our best life––or at least a life characterized by peace, joy, and healthy rhythm––has never been more difficult for many working women. Myself included. Are we doing something wrong? How do we experience peace in anxiety-riddled days… Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Cultivating Friendships & Female Allies

Listen to the nightly news, read just-released statistics, talk to a few friends––and you’ll hear over and over again the hard realities of mandated isolation, increased challenges in daily life, and mounting obstacles as working women navigate the lingering effects of this pandemic. Now more than ever we need to forge bonds of sisterhood with the women in our circles… Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

An Audience of One

Whether in person, online, or on social media, we spend a lot of time performing for other people. If we center our lives on pleasing others, living out each day gets harder and harder. It can feel impossible to create a new life script. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Daring to Hope in 2021

No one misses 2020: the ultimate year of loss for our generation. But as the chapter page turned to 2021, I wondered how I could muster up hope. So I decided to go back to the basics of spiritual renewal: creating and committing to a healthy rhythm of life. We all have different passions and interests, but the need for healthy rhythms remains universal. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

The Last Mile of Life

Everyone faces life and death crossroads. And everyone’s experiences differ. This year in particular has impacted many of us as we or a loved one walk the last mile of life. Today my emotions remain raw while this season of incredible loss for me and my family wears on. I don’t have facts and figures to try to make sense of it all. Instead, I’d like to share a few thoughts from my heart. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Life in the Rearview Mirror

There’s nothing normal as we head toward the end of 2020. We long for “normal.” We want things to go back to the way they were in February 2020, or October 2019, because no matter how hard things were then, at least we understood our known normal. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Please, No More!

Like many of you, I thought this fall would usher in the return of normal work hours in offices and schools, eating in restaurants, and gathering with friends. But COVID-19. It feels like we’ve lost so much this year. How can we move forward into fall when we continue to grieve the loss of so many aspects of our used-to-be “normal” life? Continue reading

Fun, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

A Message for Weary Souls

As this over-the-top-difficult year wears on and hopes for a summer reprieve or a maskless fall fade, my mind can struggle to muster up positivity. I’ve heard I’m not alone. Apparently many of us wrestle with the lack of normalcy, inability to plan a way forward, and uncertainty of how long “this” will last. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Sheroes of the Bible

The last two months unfolded like an archeological dig. Week after week, I joined a group of women to unlock stories of the past, dust off musty translations, and peer into golden lives of unlikely sheroes. Who are these sheroes? Women easily overlooked, discounted, and even scorned. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Robbed of My Right of Passage

In this Covid-19 time, there’s a group of celebrants who feels the loss of their special day more than others: Graduates. With no stage, no diploma in hand, and no procession, it’s hard to feel the same sense of accomplishment and closure. How do I know? I’m a 2020 graduate. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

The Week After Easter

The Easter message––that Jesus came to set us free and give us new life––does not change. Even in the confines of a pandemic. No one could have foreseen the magnitude of coronavirus strife. Except Jesus. Jesus knew that days like these were coming. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Your Christmas Wish

Each year growing up, I made a list of things I wanted for Christmas. “A horse” always topped the list. I knew I had to be nice, not naughty. Looking back, that’s probably why I never got the horse. Anyhoo… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Running the Race of Life

As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us are gearing up for our favorite running day of the year. Even non-runners love the annual Turkey Trot which leads to a guilt-free feast. Whether or not you run, we’re all called to the race of life, and we all need encouragement along the way… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Waiting Out the Wait

We’re not good at waiting. We live in a culture of instant response and immediate gratification. “Right now” has become the norm and expectation. Unfortunately, at different times in life, we all have to wait. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

What CAN I do?

We experience seasons of illness and injury that engulf us like a suffocating suffering. We want to hope for complete healing. What CAN I do? I’ve pondered the depth of this question. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Sometimes There Aren't Words

Sometimes there just aren’t words. But in those times there is Someone who speaks… Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Welcome to My Messy

My life is messy. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Most of us don’t want others to see our behind-the-scenes messy truth. And whether we recognize it or not, we live in a constant battle for self-worth, fighting against isolation. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Your Life through the Keyhole

How we view our life each day is like looking through the keyhole of a big old door. It’s as if we’re looking at ourselves, other people, and circumstances through a tiny window. Our vantage is severely limited. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing | Tagged , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

How Not to Hate the Wait

In our world of one-click shopping and on-demand streaming, much of life no longer unfolds over time. We want what we want when we want it. We require instantaneous life. Unfortunately, God often asks us to wait. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Unanswered Prayers

When someone dies, we struggle with the “why”. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? As Easter approaches, the “why” questions of the disciples mirror our own. How can we continue to trust God? Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Who Do You Say I Am?

Many of us know the greatest stories ever told. And often our focus is on the action or players or outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose. A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing about you.” Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Fear or Faith at Work?

It’s no fun living like a double agent with different personas at work v. home. How do we overcome fear of living out our faith at work? Do we have to talk about Jesus in order to be a witness at work? Here are 3 critical truths. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Why Work?

The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why” (Mark Twain). If we’re honest, we all want to know the why… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment