“What is my purpose?” “What was I created to do?” “How do I find my purpose and feel fulfilled in my current season of life?” These are all big, burning questions that we hear a lot of women asking and seeking the answers to. Last week we talked about the three different types of purpose. (You can read about them in our article “Made For Purpose”.)
The first purpose is universal, to love God and believe in His son, Jesus, sharing His Word and His love with others. This is the foundation upon which our identity is built. The second purpose utilizes our unique gifts and can be lived out through our vocation, in our churches and our communities. The third is our day-to-day purpose. These are the everyday tasks or duties we are called to in our current circumstance and season of life.
Today, I want to focus on this third type of purpose, our everyday purpose. I’m hoping to offer some encouragement that it is possible to experience a fulfilling sense of purpose in our day-to-day lives, regardless of the season of life your are in currently.
If we’re being honest, our everyday purpose can sometimes feel a little less than glamorous and exciting because of the repetitive nature of daily tasks and to-do’s. Taking care of our families, making meals, cleaning the house, working a job, and helping friends in need, can blur together into a routine that feels mundane or predictable. While there may be moments of fulfillment, it’s hard to feel like you are living out purpose when you are sitting in the carpool lane, folding another load of laundry or giving medications and caring for a chronically ill loved one. It can be challenging to feel like you are using your talents and gifts during your daily routine. We can find purpose and fulfillment in our day-to-day through a change of perspective. I know this may sound oversimplified or like a platitude, but stick with me.
What if we zoomed out from our limited perspective and instead saw our circumstances from an eternal one? Having an eternal perspective allows us to see God’s hand in all the little details. We will begin to recognize how He is using us right where we are, in each task we have before us, to do real work for His Kingdom.
Recently, my kids approached me asking to have some friends over to play. I was super tired and wasn’t too keen on doubling the number of noisy boys in my house that day, but God nudged me to see beyond what was right in front of me. When I zoomed out to an eternal perspective, I saw that my younger son wanted to invite over a boy who tends to get picked on a lot at school and could use a friend to encourage him. My older son wanted to invite a classmate to hang out who is a great kid and a positive, godly influence in my son’s life. I could see that my sons were making good choices with their friendships and it was important for me to support that. Having an eternal perspective showed me the ministry that my kids were living out and how God might be at work in their friendships.
Sometimes the little things we do have a bigger impact than we can ever know. I have a friend who has a fantastic smile. She knows the joy of being God’s daughter and it shows in her eyes every time she smiles. It’s contagious and brightens every room she enters. It’s part of how God made her. It’d be easy to say “It’s just smiling, no big deal”, but to the person that is hurting, is it just a smile? To the one who feels unseen and unloved, could it mean something more? Is is possible that God can break through to the hurting and broken through something as simple as a smile? Zooming out to an eternal perspective, we can begin to see how God uses the little and big things to accomplish His good work in our lives and in the world around us.
How can you begin to apply an eternal perspective to your everyday life? Walk through your average day in your mind and examine how you see your daily tasks and roles. Take special notice of your attitude toward each one. How might something we see as mundane or ordinary take on a greater purpose if we see it as joining the Lord in the work He is doing?
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I want to challenge you to look at things differently this week. Ask God to help you see things, including yourself, from His eternal perspective. What gifts or natural aptitudes do you have that show up in your daily routine? Are there things that you have dismissed as “It’s just listening, checking in on a friend, reading to my kid, putting a band-aid on a cut… (fill in the blank)”. Maybe you think to yourself “I do this all the time, it’s not a big deal”. All these things have an eternal impact. We just need the right perspective to see it.
It may seem like a minor thing to you to listen to someone tell you about their day, but to the other person, it could mean the world to feel heard. Being your naturally cheerful self may seem normal to you, but it could encourage someone who is having a difficult day. Showing up for the 20th time to your kid’s soccer game or helping them with their homework feels routine, but to your child, it means you value them and see them.
God has made you on purpose with your unique passions, giftedness, quirkiness, and all, to bless others and serve Him. When we see the way we were created, as the gift that it is, suddenly just being yourself has purpose. With an eternal perspective, we will find our purpose in our everyday interactions with those around us as we recognize the ways God is at work in even the mundane routines of our lives.