I was driving back from work the other day just a little bothered about something. I am a writer. I write things, and I love doing it. But I was not the kind of writer I wanted to be. And in that moment, I wasn’t sure what kind of writer that was. It had been a rainy day, but my creative juices had dried up. I had no mental energy or direction for myself that day, just an overabundance of restlessness running up and down my spine. I wanted to do something, I just didn’t know what.
It wasn’t until I drove up the driveway of my in-laws’ whose home we were housesitting, kissed my wife, put on some boots, and fed their goats, chickens, and llama that I found resolution to my confusion. God is my Father. And eternity is long enough for me to be whatever He wants me to be.
There comes a point in every one of our lives when we feel as if we are going through the motions with no real place or purpose in this world. If you have never experienced this, I envy you. As young people, we are especially susceptible to this. If we have ever had a sense of calling in our lives, it has been easy to lose and hard to get back. We lose our drive and ambition and end up coasting along in whatever current is strongest. We get depressed, bored, and discontent with whatever we find ourselves doing.
I have gone through this more than once. No pep talks helped. No experts on finding purpose in life helped. I was trying to find fulfillment in identifying myself with so many things other than who I was in Christ. It was not until I rethought my identity that I got out of that rut of discontentedness and found my true purpose.
Young Christians who still have so much maturing to do can easily be tempted to identify ourselves with so many things. We try to identify ourselves by our college degrees, our jobs, our salaries, our hobbies, our interests, and even our churches and ministries. We look for that sense of fulfillment and purpose in activities, forgetting that activities have an end and will eventually dry up. We have been told by our culture since we were children that we are “destined for great things,” and we have been searching for that great thing ever since.
But nothing on this Earth will fulfill us. C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” God created us for so much more than some earthly “destiny.” We have to stop searching for happiness and purpose in the lowly weeds of occupation, worldly success, and reputation. When the blood of the sinless Savior bought us, a completely new reality enveloped us. Where once we stood teetering on the brink of being snuffed out like a candle in a hurricane, now life and eternity spread across the horizon of our lives. This one thing defines us: Christ owns us; we own Christ.
Those hours of wistlessness we spend wondering what in the world we are supposed to do can only be stopped by that reality. You may be familiar with the phrase “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” Would you like to know what that plan is? God plans for you to spend all of eternity discovering and exploring the unsearchable riches of His grace in Christ. We will be an eternal testament to His glory and strength. We will be the marvel of the angels. We will be like Christ (1 John 3:2).
That beats any kind of accomplishment we could achieve in our earthly lives. So please do not identify yourself by what you do. Your place and purpose in this world are simple, childlike obedience to the Lord. One day, one hour at a time.
So be here. Be now. Disregard the myths you’ve heard about success and purpose. Understand that who you are is not confined to the space you inhabit or the time you endure. When God looks at you, His child, that is what He sees. And if that does not overflow your soul with meaning and satisfaction, nothing ever will.