Monday, September 26, 2005

Searching For Purpose

It's been 6 days since my last blogfession....

I find it strange how Christians are forever searching for our "purpose in life". As if it were not enough to find Jesus, we are constantly struggling for fulfillment. Why are books like "The Purpose Driven Life" (with daily planner and journal), "Wild at Heart" and "Your Best Life Now" in the top ten Christian bestsellers list? I am not discounting the valuable material in these books, just questioning why the title itself attracts readers. It's as if we are expecting our "purpose" to be concrete, and awaiting our discovery where all will be revealed.
On hindsight, when "The Purpose Driven Life" was published, I was filled with a sense of excitement and relief, as if it was finally going to give me a clue as to what I was here to do. Instead it left me with more questions.

Of course God uses certain people to do certain things, the evidence is in the Bible with ordinary (and mostly unprepared) people like Moses, Esther, and Paul to name a few. However, I think that so often we become preoccupied with searching for our specific purpose, that we ignore the journey God has us on and what we can achieve by day-to-day living. I can only speak for myself when I say that often I felt guilty for "wasting" time when I should have been discovering what God's specific "plan" for me is, and worrying that maybe I'll get it wrong. It's like that feeling you get when you get told you have "unused" potential that should be channeled, yet you don't know how to go about that.

There is no way we can understand God's plan for our lives, only on hindsight can we look back and recognize where God was at certain times. Rather than "search" for our purpose, maybe we should just be led. I remember being told in my 5th form careers class that 75% of us will end up in jobs that haven't even be created yet. Maybe it's the same with God's plan. There's no way of knowing who we will meet or impact in the future, so stress less about if you're doing the right thing to get there.

In saying that, I do believe God puts the desires in your heart, and a person with a passion for youth or overseas aid will probably be used by God in these areas. I guess what I'm saying is maybe we should stop searching and hoping we're getting it right, and just start living.

Someone once told me that instead of praying for the right doors to open, pray for the wrong doors to close. Therefore you can try everything. Was this what Jesus meant when he told us to "live life to its fullest"?

I am excited at the position God has me in at the moment, and curious as to know where I will end up.
Although, if I do have a concrete "purpose in life", I hope it's to be a rock star :)


14 comments:

jeanie said...

like u said....God planted that desire in your heart so you go girl! go and chase that rock start dream of yours and i'll be there making sure you chase it all the way

A. J. Chesswas said...

Godo thoughts Sarah, there does need to be some balance brought to the "God has a wonderful PLAN for your life". I think those books actually address that problem though, reminding us that in knowing Jesus Christ we see our purpose clearly - simply to know him and worship him more, and to make him known to others. And it is the little things, the way you treat people, what you say to them, how you go about your work - those everyday things - that matter just as much as whether you go to China or Uruguay or Hawaii to do whatever.

By the way good to have another sociology student in the blogging mix. There seems to be a few of them (I was back in my Massey days).

SasTheChocaholic said...

Thanks for visiting my blog A.J :)Yeah I agree that the books are often good in what they teach. I really like Philip Yancey's books as he doesn't have a rose-tinted glasses approach to life, but deals with issues effectively in a more "real" way.

Cool that you're a sociologist too! What part of it do you specialize in? I lean towards pop culture and media, although now it's hard to pick up a magazine without analyzing it!

A. J. Chesswas said...

Well given the content of most magazines that has to be a good thing! I did an environmental planning degree so naturally I have an understanding of how social issues relate to environmental sustainability. But I tend to use my sociological skills more for things like politics, theology and church etc. I guess my life project is to be bibilically informed in terms of my sociology. I think things like the industrial revolution and globalisation have had a detrimental effect on the peoples of the West, and I think The Bible actually provides a model for life, and for society, that contrasts these dark forces. I haven't really done an actual blog on that particular thesis, but it is in the background of a lot of the things I talk about.

Anyway, I'm hogging your blog now! Keep up the good work :)

Calia77 said...

Great thoughts. I wonder whether you read The Purpose Driven Life. I'm just starting it for the 3rd time (and blogging on it).

I agree with the fact that our purpose in life it to please Him. And yes, doors closing is far more helpful!

Thanks for your thoughts!

Bar Bar A said...

EXCELLENT POST! I have been thinking about this very thing so much lately because I am in a weird place in my life as far as career and relationships. I am so glad I found your site through Amber!!!

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