Can't Find Purpose? Where are You Looking?
Focus Verse: Proverbs 16:3
Have you ever been unsure if each lesson you've lovingly given to your children for the last eighteen years, have ever taken root? Like, they haven’t heard a word you’ve said or taken in any lesson you’ve lovingly given in the last 6,570 days?
Or writers, have you ever painstakingly wrote a post from the bottom of your heart and the pit of your despair only to not reach a single soul (at least by way of response)?
Perhaps it is your career to which you have dedicated your intensity and sacrificed your sanity, only to find what you've sown will be reaped in automation, a more lean environment or something else more “value added”?
Yeah, me either.
But let me tell you something. You matter anyway.
Every lesson you teach and hug you give, word you write, and presentation you deliver, can matter and have great purpose, if you commit them to God.
I know that when we put our time and energy into something, we typically like the satisfaction of knowing it made a difference. When we don’t see the purpose, we tend to move on to things that are less draining of our resources.
But then I came across this:
Why are we always looking for a result? For the end game? The purpose? Why do we not focus on putting everything we have into the heart of our actions and letting God worry about finding the purpose?
Because I think we miss the real purpose half the time anyway. I know that I often miss the harvest I've own, because I am looking for the reaping within my own life. I spend hours training up a child in the way he should go, I am excited to see a mature eighteen year old, ready to take on the world. (Praying, praying) Perhaps, we should search for the fruits of our labor growing in others. I may not see all the cool things my son does, but I certainly do not see the plan God has for those whose lives he has touched. Or the stories of those touched by them.
Let me ask you, how many of us have ever wondered, if the time we spent teaching three-year-olds how to make lambs by gluing cotton balls to paper plates, was really Holy Spirit-inspired work?
Then let me ask you another question. Have you ever heard of Edward Kimball?
As the story goes, Edward Kimball was a Sunday School teacher who led Dwight L. Moody to Christ.
J. Wilbur Chapman attending a meeting of D.L. Moody’s and received personal counseling and confirmation in his conversion to Christianity.
Billy Sunday worked closely with D.L. Moody and was no doubt influenced by him (though he was officially converted at another mission meeting).
Mordecai Ham attended the meetings of Billy Sunday during his evangelistic campaign.
Billy Graham was converted while attending the meeting of the evangelistic campaign of Mordecai Ham.
What about Billy Graham? Do you know of him?
So, while, admittedly, there are some loose relationships there, I wonder if Edward Kimball ever realized that his Sunday School work would ever have such a far-reaching effect so many years later. Did he focus on the end game or did he focus on his work within the Sunday School? And who is to say Billy Graham is the end game? I'll bet not.
So, if you ever wonder if your blood, sweat and tears matter in the end, know instead, that if you commit that work to the Lord, there is no wondering. We simply commit each task and HE will establish it for his good. No question about it.
(Proverbs 16:3 NRSV) Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established
For God did not establish us to do good for our Glory, but for his.
One of my characters in Ruth’s Garden tells her three girls, “It only matters, if it matters.” What kind of time and energy will we waste wondering if it matters. It does. Just ask Him.
I know I need to stop getting so caught up in looking for the purpose, that I miss committing the journey to the one who can affect the purpose. Is there something you can commit to the Lord today?
Can I pray for you? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I would be honored to say a prayer for you. Have a very blessed week!
A prayer from the Psalms: Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. (Psalm 15:1 NRSV)
Who led Billy Graham to Christ and was it part of a chain of conversions going back to Dwight L. Moody? 3/31/2005 Wheaton College, 2005. Billy Graham Center. Archives
Kass Fogle is a Contemporary Christian Author, Speaker and Blogger who lives with her husband and two teenaged children in South-Central Illinois.
She is working on her first novel, Ruth's Garden and when she is not working the day job you can find her at the local coffee house writing, at home baking, hanging out with family or causing trouble with her tight group of girlfriends. Kass is also a raging Football Mom.
You can follow Kass on twitter @kassfogle, visit her website (and subscribe to the blog!) at kassfogle.com (see the footer of the page) or join her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kassfogleauthor/ She'd be honored if you stopped by!
Kass would love to pray for you. Send a prayer request at any time by emailing email@example.com Subscribe to her webpage for prayers, fun writing activities and periodic contests!