In and around 2012, I found myself floundering a bit. I had been 8 years at the Elm Street Community Church, helped get Shining Light Ministries off the ground, and I was getting burnt out. My health was declining, relationships were suffering, and I was having trouble finding the joy that I had felt not that long ago. I got so caught up in things that needed to be done that I took my eyes off of why I was doing them.
Out of this, the Lord took me on a journey to find my purpose, and through this journey I developed a vision statement for my life. During this time, I got to meet Pat Gelsinger, who gave out his book The Juggling Act: Bringing Balance to Your Faith, Family, and Work.
Over the next few months, I dug deeper into “who” God was calling me to be, and “what” God was calling me to do. Another way I heard it put was to think about what you would like your eulogy to be (what is said about you when you die).
Defining your purpose…
Understanding your purpose, or having a vision statement, for who God is calling you to be and what He is calling you to do allows you to stay on track when life goes off the rails.
The main things that came out of my journey were spending time with my family to make sure that they knew they were a major priority of mine, further my schooling to learn what it means to be a part of a multi-ethnic church, and begin to exercise.
If you are not spending time with your family, then you can’t say that they are a priority. this requires me to be physically and mentally present. This, along with everything else, is a work in progress…
For the other parts, being in school kept me from neglecting the call to spiritual growth for the ministry He had called me to be a part of, and training for triathlons was the way that I have kept from neglecting my health.
But, using triathlon as an example, I found that if I don’t have a race to train for, I begin to neglect my health. Knowing that I have a race coming up reminds me that if I neglect my training, I won’t be able to complete the race, or I might even hurt myself.
In a similar fashion, knowing that God has called us to become a multi-ethnic church requires continual learning to engage the other cultures, and hopefully to share spiritual truths from the Bible in a way that people from all walks of life will understand.
Jesus was a man knew His purpose. He had incredible vision. Things were going well, and people were jumping on the bandwagon. So when Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah (Matt. Chapter 8), many of us might have found it easy to lose focus and get off track.
Jesus never lost focus of who He was and what He was called to do.
“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”Mark 8:31 NIV
When Peter rebuked Him (this wasn’t how Peter envisioned the story ending), Jesus turned around and rebuked Peter. He knew what He had to do. Understanding his purpose (having the vision of Who He was clearly in sight) enabled Him to make sure that every step He took, and every thing He did, moved Him closer to fulfilling the purpose (vision) God the Father had given Him.
Do you have a vision statement?
What about you? What is the purpose of your life? What is it that God has created and called you to do?
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
If you don’t have an answer to this question, then it will be easy for you to get off track. Understanding this will help you to “be” the person God has called you to be, and to “do” the work He has set aside for you to do.
What is the vision (purpose) God has created you to fill…
Lord, it is so easy to get off track, especially if we don’t know where we are supposed to be heading. Our desire is to be on track to fulfill all that You have set aside for us to do. Help us to clearly know and see the vision You have for our lives, then help us to keep that in the forefront of our minds as we live life, that we might put everything else behind us that doesn’t lead us to where You want us to go. In Jesus’ name we pray…
If you need help in this area, please feel free to reach out to me so that I can pass along some resources that may help you.