Pursuit of Purpose

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

    before you were born, I set you apart.”

                                          ~~ Jeremiah 1:5a

Can you remember a time when you seriously asked yourself what is your purpose for your life and what meaning does it have?  While a few of you might answer “yes” to this question, I tend to believe that most people don’t ever actually examine themselves to determine their true purpose for living.

After High School, most young people today will attend a college or university in an effort to earn a degree in a particular field.  Unfortunately, most of them will go into fields of study that will produce the most lucrative number of finances; they pursue that “brass ring.” They probably think that making a lot of money is the most important thing in life.  Purpose doesn’t come into that equation.  Then, others may decide to enter a Trade School.  These young people, perhaps, have given some thought of purpose, but still just seem to place value on the amount of money that a particular trade will yield.  I’m certainly not saying that consideration of money is wrong. Most people usually want to make a good living; however, most of these young people never consider the true purpose of their lives, the purpose that God has for them when He created them.  Sadly enough, most young people don’t even realize that God had a very specific reason for them personally before they drew their first breath of life. And to be quite honest with you, when I was younger, I never gave the purpose or meaning of my life any thought.  Because of the home life in which I had been raised, my only thought at the age of 17 was to get out of that environment as quickly as possible.

Many reasons may exist for not ever giving the most important life questions any thought which is sad because so many people waste their years chasing after things, such as money, power, possessions, or prestige just to wake up years later only to discover all of those things just don’t seem to satisfy and they don’t know why.  This could be true for those who have had to struggle for everything in their lives also.  Whatever the case may be, there comes a time when that empty hole in their heart seems to never go away, and they don’t know why.  I experienced reaching this pivotal point of desperation at the age of 31. I had come to the end of myself and had lost everything.  Then, and only then I finally fell on my knees and cried out to the only One who could save me, Jesus. Through tears and sobs of pain in my heart, I asked Him to forgive me of all my sins and to come into my heart as Lord and Savior.  He did just that immediately.  He came into my heart and life and gave me a sense peace I had never had before.  He redeemed me and set me on a new path.

My life finally had direction and meaning.  I am so grateful and excited that He loves me enough to continuously guide and direct my path.  It’s called amazing Grace. He knew me before I was born. The Bible states, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16 ESV).  This is true for everyone who has ever been born.  It’s just that most people do not know this truth, or if they do, perhaps they don’t believe it.

Since that time, God has been the most important element of my life.  He directed my steps and opened doors for me I never believed possible.  He arranged my life and gave me the opportunity to attend college (totally debt free).  I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and became an English Professor (retired now).  He gave me His purpose and meaning for my life then and has continued to do so.  He is faithful to anyone who is willing to ask Him to come into their life.  Because He has full reign over my life, I had a very successful 33-year career as an English Professor at several major Texas universities.

During my career, I was given opportunities to teach the spectrum of English courses and teach thousands of students. One of my favorite courses was Argument, and this is where I discovered many students were clueless about their purpose in life.  Some were after the high-paying jobs, and some were in a field of study because their parents told them they had to be in that particular a field or else they would not pay for the students’ education.  I witnessed so many unhappy young adults who felt they had no choice but to do as their parents wanted.  So many of them did not know they could ask their Heavenly Father for direction and help, and that to me was just sad.  God sets each one of us apart before we are ever born.  The Bible is very clear: “He . . . set me apart before I was born, and . . .called me by His grace” (Galatians 1:15 ESV) and again, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).

The purpose of sharing this experience with you is to illustrate that you can know your purpose and know the meaning of your life by seeking God first. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you have done that might make you believe God would never act on your behalf as He has done in my life.  Is it easy?  The answer to that question is “No.” You will still have trials, tribulations, and heartache just like everyone else; however, you will be in His hands.  He already knows you intimately and is so willing to tell you what He has planned for you.  There’s no greater joy than to know the King of the Universe, the One who made you, loves you and designed you personally for a specific purpose right now with great meaning in it.  He just wants you to ask Him what that purpose is and what meaning it will serve.  You just have to want it.  Isaiah 30:21 (ESV) states, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”  It is never too late!

Gwen Wilkinson,

Probably one of the biggest hindrances to people pursuing their real purpose in life is the fear of having to take a very long, hard look on the inside.  They will usually avoid this by always having the radio or television turned on for noise or to be doing something either busy work or just work so they don’t have to deal with what is really going on inside.  The Bible states, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23: 7 (King James Version).  Examining our thought life is not easy because we then will be facing TRUTH, and that is usually very painful.  And most of us would rather avoid any kind of pain if we were able.  However, this process is a very necessary process if you sincerely want a better life.

Gwen Wilkinson, thehopeauthor

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