As I was looking for a comforting sympathy card for a close family member, I found one with these words on the front of the card: “No life is without purpose; no sorrow goes uncomforted.” How powerful, peaceful, and comforting!
As I pondered the card, I thought about all the recent deaths and many other deaths I have experienced. One thing that stood out in my mind is that every one of those persons, no matter who they were, had a purpose in life. We all have a purpose, and we must find it, pursue it and fulfill it. The Word says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 ESV). It also states, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8 ESV). This lets us know that God chooses our purpose, and He will fulfill it, but we have a big responsibility in this matter. When you find your purpose, it is never too late to act on it, but don’t procrastinate.
It really bothers me when I hear people say, “Just look at him. He ain’t nothing and is never going to be nothing!” That is not your call. What you may be seeing on the outside is not what is purposed on the inside of this person. Although some may never find their purpose in life, it is not our call to judge that. Who knows? Your purpose in life may be to encourage and to motivate. So when you see that human being who so many call “a nobody,” it may be your purpose to spring into action and help that individual find his purpose.
Be careful how you condemn. Let’s see what the Word says about all of this: “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.’ For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:1-4 ESV)
Well, how do we find our purpose? Try these six steps if you have not discovered God’s purpose for your life:
Pray and ask God to guide you in finding your life’s purpose.
Study His Word with patience and diligence.
Start noticing the things that people genuinely appreciate about you.
Go somewhere that you find solitude, and just meditate about what your purpose is.
Abide in this quest as though you possess a hunger for it, and never give up on it.
Believe and trust God that He will guide you to your purpose and fulfill it.
For a long time, I have known that God wanted me to be a witness for Him through teaching and preaching, and I have been doing that. Further, being a classroom teacher and having touched so many lives almost four decades, has most definitely been a huge part of my purpose in life. However, I didn’t know the full extent of my purpose until just a little over four years ago when I started writing on the “Faith and Values” page of The Press and Standard. God led me to this newspaper because He wanted me as a witness to teach, encourage, inspire and motivate others through a broader spectrum that would reach so many in diverse places. I love it so much that I can just “taste it” when it is time to write my article each week. When I hear what people have to say to my husband and me about how my articles are helping them and so many others, then I know I am continuing to fulfill God’s purpose in life for me. Thank you, God, for showing me my purpose and my obedience to fulfill it, glorifying only You, God.
Let me share just three recent responses from those who appreciate what God has led me to do with my purpose. Two are from former students, and one is from one of my readers:
“If I can make half of the impact that you have made on students, then my purpose would be fulfilled. I am just a product of your legacy. Thank you for believing in us! You are a giant in education and a champion for all children. Much love and respect to you.” (Larry Varn, principal, Rich South High School, Richton Park, Ill.; former member of Colleton County School Board)
“Thank you, Mrs. Anna Jean Stevens Bright! I appreciate the beautiful tribute. Most importantly, I appreciate you and all that you poured into me as a student. You are the perfect role model. Thanks for inspiring and encouraging us to strive for excellence. May God continue to bless you, my beautiful Soror and awesome teacher. Love you!!” (Dr. Brenda Coley, superintendent of Russell County School District, Phenix City, Ala.)
“Prayer, Your Steering Wheel, not your Spare Tire; Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you moving, but it does not get you anywhere. Beautiful article, Anna — thought-provoking, inspiring and refreshing. Love you.” (Dr. Queenie L. Crawford, retired educator; executive director, Institute of HOPE for Excellency Inc. She was the first principal with whom I taught in the Colleton County School District in 1992.)
Are you fulfilling your purpose that God has for you? If so, keep doing it, but do it for the Glory of God! If not, please find it, and begin fulfilling it before time lapses, for “No life is without purpose.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)