How Do I Find My Sense of Purpose?
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them. Genesis 1:27a
At a street meeting that was held by a Salvation Army group, a young man who was a drummer in the band reflected on his past life and how it had changed. “Before I was converted,” he said, “I used to drink a lot, but I don’t drink anymore. Before I was converted, I used to swear a lot, but I don’t swear anymore. Before I was converted, I used to womanize, but I don’t do that anymore.” Then, he added, “Since I was converted, about all I do is stand on this street corner and beat this old drum!”
A lot of people–both before and after conversion–are like the young man who reflected that about all he does is beat the drum. That’s translated as, “Get up, go to work, come home tired and start the day all over again, or do the carpool, do the shopping, get to the grocery store, make sure the kids have their lunches, and start all over again.
“Live, love, and enjoy” is the caption on a billboard, but to do that requires a sense of definition, understanding what life is about, a sense of purpose, and a sense of empowerment. So, what’s the purpose of your life? Simply beating the old drum day after day, or is there more?
Francis Schaeffer, an apostle to the intellectuals, wrote, “Man, made in the image of God, has a purpose–to be in relationship to God, who is there. Man forgets his purpose and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.” And when you forget, you begin to think that your life is like a coffin with both ends kicked out, an endless, meaningless routine of drudgery and work.
The Bible says that you were made in the image of God. That gives life definition and purpose to life, and beyond that it contends that God has a plan for your life–which takes away the uncertainty of where you are going and how you get there. A sense of purpose in life begins with a relationship with God, recovering the sense of purpose which was lost when sin came into the world. Without God you are like an airplane pilot who has lost communication with the tower, like a traveler in a storm who has lost sight of the landmarks, and like an aged man with Alzheimer’s who cannot remember where he lives. You are disconnected, and that’s why life appears to be without rhyme or reason, a ship of fools without a captain, and a journey without a destination.
So how do you come into relationship with God, as Francis Schaeffer put it? The first step is to acknowledge you need this relationship. The Bible says that all of us have gone astray, as sheep without a shepherd. Most of us have no trouble admitting that we’ve missed the path to purpose and fulfillment in life, so we quickly say, “Yes, this is what I need.”
The second step is to understand that God sent His Son to bring us into that relationship, to show us the way back. So, when you allow Him to be your Lord and Savior, you connect with God. In responding to the questions of the disciples Jesus explained, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?'” (John 14:9b NIV).
The next step is to find out how God wants you to live–His blueprint, His guidelines for purpose and fulfillment. You find this in the pages of the Bible, an age-old textbook on living.
Coming home to the Father allows Him to give you guidance so you can love, live, and enjoy life. It’s the only way it will really happen.
Resource reading: Philippians 3:12-14