Almost everyone at some point in time asks the proverbial question, “What is my purpose?” As far back as I can remember, I’ve been asking myself that very question. My most vivid memory of this inquiry happened as an immature, yet highly aspirational twenty-five-year-old when visiting Anna, a highly recommended spiritual mentor. I remember being nervous and excited for the unveiling of this mystery that plagued me and that somehow by gaining the reason for my existence all problems would vanish. As I sat there, my palms sweaty, looking into the eyes of a small, wise, elderly woman, she finally asks, “so what is it that you want to know, dear?” I stammer and stutter a bit and finally blurt the words out, “I want to know my purpose.” She leaned back a bit with a slight bit of relief to hear a simple question and said, “Oh, well it’s the same as everyone, it’s to love and serve God.” I thought, Wow! There it is. The answer I have been searching for and almost as quickly as the wow factor entered, the confusion cast a shadow. I contemplated the answer, “to love and serve God.” Well, that sounds lovely and straightforward but what does that specifically mean? The over analysis which could many times send me into a spiral of paralysis was quickening. Unfortunately, at that point in my life, I was too timid to ask her to elaborate on her response simply out of fear of looking stupid. Oh, how pride gets in the way of life’s magic and beauty.
The next several years were spent trying to love and serve God in typical ways, but ultimately I describe this period as “the wandering years” perhaps even the floundering years as it relates to loving and serving. I was living a great life by worldly standards but with a constant yearning for more. But more of what? I couldn’t figure it out. And therein lied the never ending problem. I continued to search for my purpose from an intellectual and analytical point of view trying to show my love and service to God through works, but I had no idea what I was doing. Why? Because even though I grew up in a church, I didn’t know Jesus as my intimate friend, Lord, and Savior. Intellectually, I knew who Jesus was and the meaning behind my baptism, but I didn’t know what it looked like to live according to the Gospels of Jesus. I didn’t know what it truly meant seek righteousness. And because I didn’t know His Word well enough, I couldn’t possibly love and serve others the way God intended – the way the spiritual mentor tried to convey in my early years.
The quest to find purpose propelled me to give up a thriving technology career as a C-level executive in a Fortune 500 company to spend 40 days in Rwanda. Why? I was convinced that I would “find” my purpose in Africa, of course. Ironically, it was there where God revealed the simplicity of His mystery and the importance of loving and serving others in every encounter, with everyone, every day regardless of our location. I realized during that time in solitude what it truly meant to put God first. Work, family, friends and access to the Internet were stripped away for a short while so He could reach me at a deeper level. The distractions of the world get in the way of God’s presence in our daily routines. I learned how important it was to spend time in the Bible and achieved a new awareness of how much I didn’t know Him due to my lack of Bible study.
Later on, God revealed a scripture that crystalized my purpose and the collective purpose for all followers of Jesus. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV). Wow! There it was. Only this time, I had the whole picture which was to know, love and serve God. It was so apparent to Anna that it didn’t occur to her the need to mention it. However, for so many like me, years can be spent fumbling around trying to figure God out vs. devoting time towards learning the Word of God and gaining His wisdom, and we miss it.
Through the same scripture, Mark 12:30-31, God ignited a calling on my life to inspire and equip Christian believers with the knowledge of how to love and serve God the way He intended. The mission is called 24/7 Purpose, and it’s all about doing life God’s way every day.
Our solution, at 24/7 Purpose, is an extension of the church designed for those who desire a formula to create a deeper intimacy with God and make Him number one every day not just on Sunday. We use a practical approach defining a custom spiritual growth plan meeting Believers exactly where they are today and a roadmap for where they want to go. We use the best curriculum and personal assessments to unlock God-given strengths and spiritual gifts to align their passions and unique fulfillment of God’s purpose.
Millions of Christians are sick and tired of feeling held hostage to the rat race or living a mundane existence. Many find themselves in bondage to the pursuit of things, constant stimulation, and performance driven mindsets which are ruling their lives, too busy and distracted to position God as the number one priority. But when God is at the center of our intentions, life is balanced, alive and full of passion. Our focus shifts towards putting others before ourselves and our relationships become sweeter while the stress of petty situations fades away.
I wish that I had one more visit with Anna to let her know that she not only helped me find my purpose but God’s ultimate calling on my life to establish 24/7 Purpose in His honor and glory. And if anyone should ask me what their purpose is, I have the complete story, and it’s to know, love and serve God every day, on purpose.
To learn more about 24/7 Purpose, please visit http://247purpose.com or call 770 561 4222.