Yesterday I talked about the freedom in work and how I wanted to step into my purpose. I used to think that purpose was some thing you had to figure out. That it was one thing that you’re meant to do, and it was the one work you go into, like being a doctor or a teacher or a minister. And that once you figure out your purpose, you can live life with freedom.
Well, I thought I found my purpose and I pursued it. Things didn’t work out well. It doesn’t mean I was wrong. Actually, I did a lot of things right. But what I didn’t understand then was that purpose is not finite. It’s not fixed. It doesn’t have limits or boundaries.
Take being a doctor, for example. You might think that being a doctor is your purpose. It’s who you are. The job is you and you are the job. But what happens when you can no longer practice? A surgeon gets sick and tremors plague his hands. A car accident destroys your career. Is your life over because you can’t fulfill your purpose of being a doctor?
I don’t think so. I think we need to look beyond the job and underneath the surface. There are many ways to help people heal. There are many ways to teach. There are many ways to reach souls for Christ.
You see, purpose grows along with us. When God promised that He has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), they’re bigger than us and beyond what we can imagine. God doesn’t show us the whole picture. He only shows us enough to get us moving one step further.
What we call our “purpose” or “goals” and “dreams” are tiny compared to what God has in store for us. They help us move one step further by helping us choose one college over another, pick this degree and not that, and apply for these jobs and not those.
But as we fulfill our purpose, goals, and dreams, we grow as people. And so do our purpose, goals, and dreams. That usually means change, and change isn’t always easy. It doesn’t always feel comfortable or even fair. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It doesn’t mean we failed.
When life doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would, it could simply mean we’ve outgrown our purpose, goals, and dreams. It could it’s time to move onto the better things God has for us. It could mean we’re taking another step further into that prosperity, hope, and future.
I hope you know it will be okay. You will be okay. Take the next step.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11, NIV