I have some news for you. Yes you. You may not yet have discovered your true purpose in life.
You might be thinking “erm, well of course not. I’m not really sure I have one. Life is kinda…I dunno – is there any meaning to life?”
Or else you may be thinking, “I’m not sure I agree with you…I’m pretty set. I’ve got my job, I’ve discerned my vocation, I’m a wife, a husband, a parent, and child, a friend. I’ve got lots of purpose in my life!” That that may well be true. And so much of what we do and who we are in relationship with gives shape to our purpose.
But what if you haven’t found that vocation yet? What if you’re single and not sure you’re going to stay that way? What if your job sucks – what if your job sucks the life out of you? Do you still have a purpose?
What if things changed? What if the life you know and recognise slipped right from under your feet? Would you still have a purpose? What if your children are all grown up and your spouse has passed on and you are attending more funerals of friends then birthday parties? Do you still have a purpose?
The thing is we all have a purpose in life. A single purpose that underpins everything else we do. Whether we are 5, 55 or 105. Whether we are single, married, celibate or just confused. We are all called to do something with our life.
We are called to make a gift of ourselves.
A gift of ourselves? As in put me in a box and tie a bow around it? Sounds a bit crazy. Well not quite.
What is a gift of self?
A gift of self is when we give ourself to another person in love. In this way we imitate God who is love. And love always gives.
We can make a complete gift of self in marriage where we gives ourselves completely to another person. But we can make a gift of ourselves in every moment by looking upon and treating others with love.
What is love? Love is wanting the good for another person. Practically this might mean simple acts of kindness: a smile, a hug, a coffee bought for our colleague on the way to work. It means giving of our time, our energy, our resources, our talents. It means choosing what is good for others.
How it will change your life?
1. You are never without purpose.
No matter where you are in life you are always called to make a gift of your self. This gives our lives purpose and meaning. Even if you’re stuck in a dead end job for a dead beat boss, there are still many opportunities for you to make a gift of self, even if the actual work you do isn’t fulfilling.
Even if you are experiencing crisis in your life, if the relationships you defined yourself by have changed, you are still called to make a gift of yourself.
Even if you think you have nothing to give. If you’re sick, bed bound, unable to be ‘of use’ to others – you are still a gift. Your life is a gift. And you can still offer it to those around you – even with something as simple as a smile.
2. You begin to understand your value as God’s creation.
Self esteem: it seems more and more people have less and less of it. Perhaps this is because you judge yourself by the standards of the world, where you should be judging yourself by the standards of God. After all, it’s God who created you. It’s God who knows your true value. It is God who loves you beyond anything you can imagine. Why look to TV, advertising, or even family and friends? Sure, sometimes they reflect to us what God wants us to know – but even family can get it so very wrong.
God made you. And he made you good enough to be ‘God’s gift to the world’!
3. It takes the focus off you.
You know the saying “it’s better to give than to receive”. Well it goes the same way for giving of yourself. The more you focus on making a gift of yourself, on loving others, the less you focus on what you’re receiving. And the less you think about yourself the happier you become.
So what do you think? Does this resonate with you? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Question: Come back here at the end of the day, having taken up the challenge… What did you do? What observable effect did it have on someone else? What impact did it have on you? You can comment by clicking here.