What Is My Purpose?: A Question Everyone Asks

What Is My Purpose?: A Question Everyone Asks


What is My Purpose?

This life question will haunt many at one point in time or another: What is my purpose? The amount of time I have put into this thought alone accounts for over half my life. A haunting feeling always rising to the surface which begs the question of enough. Am I doing enough? Is what I am doing enough? This train of thought can suffocate and eventually destroy the drive that propels one into living out the purpose-filled life.

Over the last couple of years, I have come to a better understanding of what my purpose is and what it isn’t. Purpose has taken on a different meaning and I see life through different lenses. The process has led me away from the draining and approval-seeking path to one that is fulfilling and grace-filled.

Chasing the Wind

But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. – Ecclesiastes 2:11

If I could, I would throw out quite a few verses from the book of Ecclesiastes. I feel like I have a really good grasp on what Solomon was agonizing over in his deep contemplation of life. I too have sat back and taken assessment of my accomplishments, my possessions, and accounted for those gifts that are precious to me. People, things, decisions, awards, positions held–every moment of life–meaningless? Perhaps we search so hard for purpose, because we innately recognize the meaninglessness of everything. We were designed for purpose. Yet when that purpose is not understood–or worse, when it has been distorted–we mar and waste said purpose.

The effort and time we put into things, even good things, can all amount to wind chasing. Our work and our accomplishments are futile and they exhaust, with no hope of rejuvenation. When purpose is left out, all of the good and important things we do wash away like sand. We are left contemplating the thought of meaningless and enough.


An Established Meaning

The first question found in the Westminster Shorter Catechisms asks: What is the chief end of man? The answer then given is: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

If we could let the knowledge of our prime purpose sink deeply, would it change us? We were created to bring Him glory and to enjoy His glory. I don’t know about you, but the knowledge of that is freeing and beautiful to me. This purpose, once known, makes all other decisions in life a little more clear–it is this ultimate purpose which drives.

“A sunset seen from the top of the I.D.S.—that’s glory. Or the I.D.S. itself almost invisible, like crystal against a grey-blue sky—that’s glory. A perfect performance on the balance beam by Nadia Comaneci—that’s glory. A perfectly executed 30-foot jump shot with one second to go—that’s glory, too…The glory of God is the beauty and excellence of his manifold perfections. It is an attempt to put into words what God is like in his magnificence and purity. It refers to his infinite and overflowing fullness of all that is good. The term might focus on his different attributes from time to time—like his power and wisdom and mercy and justice—because each one is indeed awesome and beautiful in its magnitude and quality. But in general God’s glory is the perfect harmony of all his attributes into one infinitely beautiful and personal being.”  –John Piper, God Created Us For His Glory

A Covering of Grace

I think of the years I spent looking for purpose, I think of the years I spent hiding from purpose, and now, I think of the years to come with an understood purpose. It is a covering of grace that can take wasted years and use them for His glory. It is a covering of grace that takes the new and untouched years for His glory, too. That is the thing about our purpose…it is not separate from Him. His grace is woven deeply in a tapestry of a life lived for Him and enjoyed through Him.

Embrace Purpose

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men… – Colossians 3:23

Sometimes, the purposeful life may tempt us to feel “less than.” Often, our perspective of this life is measured by great success in the eyes of man. We might even struggle as we look to the right or to the left and see others living out their purpose-filled life…and we may feel as if ours does not measure up. We might see those who lead thousands to Christ, we might see those who are glorifying Him while the world watches, and we may see those whose lives look so much more important than our own. When this temptation of comparison befalls us, we surrender to Him and press forward, looking straight ahead. We keep our gaze on Him and we complete every task for His glory and we soak in the joy that He offers. It is then and there that we will know we are living a life of purpose, because everything we do is for Him.

“To do even the most humbling tasks to the glory of God takes the Almighty God Incarnate working in us.”

-Oswald Chambers-


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Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
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In the past six months, I nearly lost two very important people.  Why did God spare them and not others?

First, my son was involved in an auto accident.  He was driving down the highway at night doing 60 mph when he hit three pregnant black Angus heifers.  He called us to come get him and said, “I hit a cow.”  What an understatement!  When we got there, we approached from behind.  The car looked fine at first glance, but as we walked to our son at the front of the car, we could not believe he was standing in front of us.  The front end was smashed up and the windshield had buckled into the car where all three cows had hit the windshield and one had flown over the car.  The windshield had stopped within inches of his head.  He did not have a scratch on him.  He was not even sore the next day.  It was truly a miracle that he was alive.Spared!

The second was my husband.  He recently suffered a massive heart attack–one that is
termed a “widow-maker.”  He is in his early fifties with no risk factors.  He had symptoms that were explained away by issues with his neck and stomach.

I was not home when his heart attack happened, but two of our children were.  He started having chest pains and sat down thinking it was his gallbladder and would pass.  After ten minutes, he asked our son to take him to the emergency room.  They didn’t make it two miles before my son called 911.  He told them where they were and where he was headed.  They told my son to stop at the highway and they would be there.  (We live in the middle of nowhere.)  The EMT’s started working on him immediately.

Meanwhile, my daughter had called to tell me that they were going to the ER with chest pains and that she was by herself.  My son could not answer his phone because he was talking to 911, so I had no idea what was happening.  I sent a message to a lady at our church, asking for prayer, and told my daughter to call a friend of ours down the road to come sit with her.  The friend called her church and within minutes, five prayer chains had been activated.  My son finally answered and told me what had happened.  He was scared and sitting in the car.  I told him to go be near his dad so that we would know what was happening.  As soon as he got near the ambulance, I heard “heart attack.”  I was thirty minutes away with my other son and felt so helpless.

The paramedics said they were mediflighting him.  I knew it was bad at that point.  I got to the hospital right after my husband, followed by many family members and friends.

He was taken to the cath lab and had two stents placed, followed by a third one a week later.  The doctor credits our son and the paramedics with saving his life and said that it is a miracle that he made it to get help.

God has a plan for both their lives.  Sometimes, we think that only applies to younger people like my son, but anytime God spares us, it is for a reason.  We may not know that reason in this lifetime but we must strive to live our lives to honor God.  We never know when something we do will affect someone else.

Jeremiah 28:11 (NIV)  

“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.” 

If God has given you a second chance, make the most of it.

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