“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…”
Thus starts the third chapter in Ecclesiastes, a book written by one of the wisest men that ever walked on earth. Many a time I have contemplated these words, mulled over their meaning, trying to grasp their concepts and claim them as my own. It is hard sometimes, what with all the distractions the world provides.
The American Dream is always pushing us to become more socially successful, more financially stable, more popular amongst the upper-class circles. There is little time left to consider one’s purpose. For many, their purpose is doled out the day they are born. They are handed the responsibilities of their family’s business, or expectations are laid on them that leave no room for growth or change, or…well, the list goes on. While I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with having an expectation and goal, I believe it is equally important to leave room for God to bring change.
An example of this can be seen in my own life. For over half my life (which isn’t very long, haha), I thought my purpose would be to simply serve others and, when I got married, serve my family. Imagine my surprise when I reached seventeen and my parents strongly encouraged me to take the Running Start program and thus graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree.
Simple enough. Change my goals slightly. Getting a general Associate’s Degree doesn’t mean my purpose of staying with my family and getting married has to change. Two years came and went. I had several conversations with my parents and friends about what my next steps were. People would ask me what my plan was, what I would use my degree for, if I was planning on going to college….A year and a half later, my answer to most of those questions are “I don’t know.” I have an Associate’s Degree. I am working as a technical writer at a local company. I am moving into my own space soon.
Did I lose sight of my purpose? No, not even close. My ideas of purpose merely changed as life continued and I kept praying and asking God what my purpose was. I can’t promise that everything I do is perfectly in line with what He has planned for me, but I am also assured through prayer that pushing on doors and moving forward, and accepting change, are not bad things. In fact, God encourages change and growth and lessons learned through pushing on.
I have found it helpful to remember that while my goals have changed slightly, my core purpose has not. I am still living for Christ to the best of my ability, loving people, while keeping myself financially afloat. My dream of becoming a wife may or not become a purpose. But as long as I am continually in step with Christ and His plans for me, I am fulfilling my purpose.
Our views are often skewed, but thanks be to God that His purpose for us never changes. His purpose may not line up with what we think it is, but eventually He has a habit of changing our minds when they are wrong, pushing us forward when they are right. Our purpose is to live in Him, and as long as we do that, we can never go wrong.