Updated: May 18
To find purpose we've been taught to ask "What I am called to do?" But the point of purpose isn't what we do but who we serve. To find purpose the question should be "who am I called to serve?"
So much of what we've been told about purpose revolves around 'me' - my skills, my dreams, my goals, my passions. That's the point, right? To find what I'm created to do. But purpose cannot exist apart from serving others. If our life isn't me + others, we will never be fulfilled. We're most fulfilled when we love God with all our hearts AND love our neighbours as ourselves.
Our world today is so focused on self - self love, self worth, to the point where self always comes first. But we're called to love others AS we love ourselves, not with what's left after we love ourselves.
In the story of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22), we find a man who's looking for eternal life. He tells Jesus he's done everything he knows how to do and asks what's left?"Jesus tells him to sell all he has, give it to the poor and follow him. We read that and think Jesus is address his attachment to wealth. But I think Jesus is also addressing his attachment to himself. To sell all and give up everything will cost him more than his wealth, it's going to cost him his life as he knows it.
I suspect this is why so many people feel lost in our world today. If you look at the most affluent, prosperous cultures, there seems to be so many lost people - they feel life has no real meaning and struggle to find value in their day to day lives. Life feels like a series of repeatable actions that keep you busy going nowhere.
The skills, gifts, dreams, and passions God has placed in your life are there to serve Him. And we serve Him when we serve others.
If you feel stuck, or lost, or like your life is missing meaning, ask yourself "Who am I called to serve?" It'll cost you and you may not be as comfortable as you are now, but you'll come alive to purpose. In the words of Jesus, the most purposeful guy who ever lived, when you give up living your life for you, that's when you'll find it (Matthew 10:39).
Who are you called to serve? Be bold - step out and step up into purpose.