We were off the beaten path for about an hour when we realized we were lost. I pulled the car into a small motel to ask for directions. There were two elderly men sitting behind the counter with their feet up while watching a small television set. I had to clear my throat to get their attention.
“Excuse me. Can either of you direct me back to the interstate?” They were no help. They just looked at me with a blank stare. When I returned to the car, I gave my friend the bad news. “Well, we’re lost and we’re going to die.
“No, we’re not.” She said in a comforting way. “Look! There’s a gas station stop across the street. Maybe someone in there will be able to help us,” she added with hope in her voice.
To me, the shady, rundown building across the street looked like a hangout for serial killers. The paint was peeling and the shrubbery was overgrown. Nothing about the store said, “Welcome.” There was no way I was going to walk into a nest of potential killers willingly. However, my friend persuaded me otherwise. “We won’t talk to anyone,” she promised. “We’ll just go in and buy a map.”
Once we were inside the creepy, timeworn building, I scanned the place for our killer. When it appeared to be safe, we got our directions and got out of the store.
Eventually, we made it home.
How often have you felt lost when it comes to discovering your purpose in life? Just when you think you’re on the right track, you find yourself in a shady, rundown building—a dead end—a place that has nothing to do with where you’re headed. Don’t lose heart.
When God is revealing bits and pieces of your purpose through the seasons of your life, remember that even if He has told you how you will ultimately serve Him, it doesn’t mean that the fulfillment of your purpose will happen in a straight line. Instead, you might feel like you are going in loop-de-loops and circles, like you are wandering. This is OK. God won’t waste any of your experiences. And even if some of your “circles” seem unrelated to God’s calling, He will weave them in to His purpose for your life. Rest assured, He is still in control and will perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8).
It’s often through our experiences and passions that God is piecing together our purpose. To help you get on track to what your purpose may be, think about these three questions.
1. What do you love? Do you love to garden, cook or fix cars? Whatever you love is what you’re called to do.
For example, I learned last week at our annual She Speaks conference about a lady who used her love of teaching self-defense to equip trafficking victims.
2. What do you hate? Do you hate child-abuse, cancer or drug pushers? Whatever you hate is what you’re called to correct. We often see this in action whenever there is a “Race for Cancer.” Or a mom who has lost a child due to drugs and now speaks to young people on the dangers of substance abuse.
3. What makes you cry? Do school shootings make you cry? Does elderly abuse make you cry? Does the loss of moral values in our society today tug at your heart? Whatever makes you cry is what you’re called to heal.
God doesn’t always reveal our purpose in a straight line, but He gives us bits and pieces along the way. As we step out in obedience to the things He reveals, we eventually find ourselves right dab in the middle of our calling.