Most people start looking for their life’s purpose by asking sensible, reasonable questions: What am I good at? What do I enjoy? Do these things provide any true value to the world? Will people pay me to do these things?
These people are doomed to never find their purpose because they are too hung up on whether or not their purpose makes any sense. God did not create you to have a job. God created you to come alive. Your purpose DOES NOT HAVE TO MAKE SENSE as long as it is your true, natural purpose. The less sense it makes the better. As a rule of thumb, if you can explain your purpose to a parent in less than 45 seconds, it is not your true purpose.
I have a friend named Carla. Carla is a mother of two who was wasting her life as a first grade teacher. It paid the bills. It contributed to society, but Carla wasn’t happy. I asked Carla what she had wanted to be when she was a child and she told me: a teacher.
I told her to go back further. What had she really wanted to be? When she was a very small girl? Almost a baby, with no sense of reality?
That’s when Carla remembered that she had wanted to be a firetruck.
That was the first step towards Carla coming into her true purpose. She’s not a teacher anymore. I don’t know what she does now.
Carla’s story can be your story too. Your purpose can blossom within you, finally transforming you into the Christian that God created you to be. In order to find your true purpose, you must first rid yourself of the things that are not your purpose. Is your job your true purpose? No? Quit. Don’t turn in two weeks’ notice. Just leave. “What does a profit a man if he gains the world and forfeits his soul?” Leave “jobs” to people who haven’t found their purpose yet. People might laugh at you, but soon enough, you will be the light that they will all see by. They will need you to show them how to be alive. You will need them to buy you groceries. But you do not need a job. Your new job is passionate living.
Now you are truly ready to find your purpose.
Take a few days to sit in a dark room, just you and Jesus. Stare into a single lit candle. You’re going to have to get used to living without electricity once you find your true purpose. Focus all of your attention and energy onto a single thought. Do NOT think about a “job.” Do NOT think about “money.” Do NOT think about “groceries” or “rent.” Instead, think about: Who are you? Where did you come from? What do your clothes feel like on your body? What is the true rhythm of your heart? Why does your butt have two halves? You are now getting very close to your true purpose.
Picture a face in your mind. If it is the face of a competent adult, go back and start over again. Repeat this process until the face you see is the face of a newborn child, unsullied by the demands of modernity. Look into this baby’s eyes. Do you see yourself in them? No. They are your eyes. You are the newborn baby, and you are staring into your own face. How do you feel? Disappointment at the responsibilities you’ve taken on? Sadness at the fact that you are living fettered to the day-to-day doldrums of marriage, parenthood and (ugh!) work? What does Baby You – your true self – think? What does Baby You feel?
Now search deep in Baby You’s heart. There you find a locket. That locket there was placed by God Himself back when He laid the foundations of the world. Only one word will open that locket. That word is purpose. Speak it and the locket will open. Inside is your purpose. Of course it is. It has been inside of you all along.