by Cathee Poulsen
I see it in your eyes when I ask how many of you know your purpose. A combination of shame and guilt, you drop your head and stare at the rug. You just aren’t happy with this aspect of your life.
“I have no idea what my purpose is and I’m almost 40.”
“I thought for a long time my purpose was ____, but I just realized lately how I hate that job.”
“I’d give anything for someone to tell me how to find it.”
What if your purpose is something really simple?
After all, Jesus summed everything up in one sentence—Love God and love others. Loving God includes loving your life. The life you have right now. The race He’s called you to today. Can you kiss that life?
What if the whole thing is about the tiny, seemingly inconsequential things we do with kindness and generosity? What if its more about that than big achievements? Maybe most spiritual growth takes place in microscopic increments, when we love and give.
The longer I live, the more I realize how complicated I’ve made it all.
This has been a hard year. Maybe one of the hardest I’ve known. Four in my circle have lost sons or daughters. A friend died suddenly and unexpectedly. There’s a court case that won’t end. And too many other stories to tell here.
We need comfort and peace and it won’t come by our achievements of bright, shining fame. What is it that God has appointed for us to do with our lives? Maybe it’s what one person described as “a small font purpose.”
When I worked with a life coach ten years ago, this was the outcome of my search.
“For me, living on purpose means a life of adventure, intimacy and beauty lived in response to the call of God and in joyful community with others.”
Those are the elements, based on my personality and gifts, and combined with the Word of God, they define what living on purpose looks like for me.
The way I share the gospel best is around the dinner table, or in a discussion that has depth and meaning. I’m not very good at small talk.
The fact that the dinner table has a beautiful setting is not to impress you; it’s because beauty is part of my purpose and gives richness to my life. I hope it also blesses you and creates a backdrop for deeper intimacy.
Adventure never comes without risk, but I’m willing to take calculated risks that fulfill the rest of my purpose. Maybe that just means inviting a stranger for dinner. Maybe adventure awaits in your own back yard when you appreciate what God sends you out there. We are surrounded by lavish beauty and wonder that we often waltz by without even a notice.
Narrow Your Focus—there’s power in it.
I’m not out to save the world any more. My highest goal these days is to live and move and have my being in Christ. To obey His two greatest commands and to put the following into practice as often as possible:
- I will expect good things, but not demand them
- I choose to enjoy the mystery
- I don’t put God in a box because He just doesn’t fit
- I won’t ever give up hope
- I’m willing to let go
- I won’t waste my time on what I can’t
- I accept the perfection of imperfection
- I will eat well and not stress when I can’t
- I will live in the present moment because there’s nowhere else to go
I love my life at Simplicity Cottage. Our group coming for dinner, candles flickering, fresh flowers, and a meal we’ve all shared in preparing. The great conversations around the table. I take joy in tending my roses, watching evening fall and the lights twinkle across the lake. Even the brash sound of the sandhill cranes flying home for the night makes me smile. I will enjoy the pleasures of this small, happy life of mine.