Purposeful Living

Written by: Meaghan Highway, LMHC

“Lord, when I feel that what I’m doing is insignificant and unimportant, help me to remember that everything I do is significant and important in your eyes, because you love me and you put me here, and no one else can do what I am doing in exactly the way I do it.” (Brennan Manning)

Christians have the common purpose of loving God and reflecting His love out towards others and themselves, while also holding a unique purpose that is theirs alone. Our purpose in life often shows itself among what we love – our passions, our gifts, our dreams. Our purpose may even change or evolve over time, just as each person does simply by living. But sometimes it’s easy to forget the greater purpose of our lives, when we become bogged down by the little things. The day to day monotony of life can dull our senses, helping us to forget what once filled us with verve and zest for living. How can we recapture our sense of purpose? Here are three suggestions for the next time you find yourself wondering how to get a ‘second wind’:

  1. Pray about it.

“God cares, cares right down to the last detail.” (James 5:11, MSG) As unfathomable as it may seem at times, God does care about the details that make up our lives, and wants to be in a relationship with us. Just as in our human relationships, we can talk with Him about what is concerning us. When we feel tired, stressed or wondering about how to continue on down a particular course, prayer is always a good first step. Even if you don’t feel as though you received an answer to your concerns at the time that you prayed, relax in the knowledge that God has heard you and is concerned for your situation.

  1. Find one concrete thing you can do about the situation during the next 24 hours.

The key to working within the current day is important, because there probably isn’t a lot you can do – but you can do something! If you feel as though your purpose has changed, start researching – what would you rather be doing? If you are still searching for your purpose, researching can serve you as well – what are your realistic options for pursuing a purpose where you feel called? Be comforted in the fact that purposes are fluid, and that each step we take can make a difference. Research can seem daunting, when staring down the question of, “What is my purpose?” But you can respond effectively to this giant inquiry by considering things such as: What do I love? What do I feel refreshed by, each time I do it? What have others said I’m good at? What would I be interested in learning more about? These questions can be a good starting point for answering your purpose question, and they also hand you concrete steps that you can definitively complete within a day. You don’t need to answer all the questions, or even have a definite idea of where to go – you just need to start down the path of discovery.

  1. Cultivate awareness of the beauty that surrounds you.

When we feel that life has piled up, even small things can seem daunting (like doing repair jobs, laundry, mowing the lawn, or doing the dishes.) But if we are mindful of what surrounds us, we give ourselves the gift of seeing how many blessings we are already surrounded by. Awareness of our blessings won’t do a repair job, fold the laundry, mow the grass or stack the silverware, but it has the potential to help us feel more content even within the daily grind. Brother Lawrence was a medieval monk who is known for this prayer: “Lord of all pots and pans and things, make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates!” When we cultivate awareness, we are deliberately taking notice of our blessings, such as a floor beneath our feet, sunshine outside the windows, or someone we love being near. When we take the deliberate action of appreciating what is around us, we give ourselves the gift of contentment within the busyness.

These three steps won’t tell you what your purpose is, or how you should get there, but they will help you start down the path. Most of all, relax in the knowledge that God is with you for each step of the way.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is intended to educate, inform and entertain. This does not represent psychotherapy, therapeutic assessment, or any other form of therapeutic intervention. This should not be used as a substitute for consultation and treatment with a licensed mental health professional. If you have questions related to the material contained in this site please contact CCM or a licensed mental health professional of your choice.

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