Most of my life, I’ve lived fairly close to the sweetest place on earth---Hershey, PA. I’ve grown up going to Hersheypark, seeing the Hershey kiss street lights as I drive down the street, and breathing in the amazing smell of chocolate. Still, I have to admit that whenever I hear someone excited to be taking a trip to Hershey or even see it offered as a destination prize on a game show, I think, “Really?? Hershey??”
I mean it’s a great place, but having been there a thousand times, it’s not that big of a deal. I feel the same way whenever I’m in town and see a tourist taking a picture of a rollercoaster at Hersheypark. Again, I find myself chuckling and thinking, “Dude, it’s a rollercoaster---at Hersheypark---it’s not like it’s Mt. Rushmore. No pictures necessary.”
The truth is that my familiarity with the area has caused this vacation destination to lose some of it’s allure. Of course, I’m on the other side of the equation whenever I hear one of my friends who live near the beach say, “I just want to get away to the mountains.” That’s when I think, “Really??? You live at the best place on earth, why would you ever want to leave???”
That’s the problem with the familiar. Just like Hersheypark has lost some of it’s magic for me over the years and my friends too often only see crowds and traffic at the beach, we often miss the beauty and potential in the situations and circumstances in life with which we are the most familiar.
This isn’t just true of vacation spots…it’s also a very common problem in women’s lives. I see it over and over again….women who are so busy dreaming of their future purpose, that they completely overlook all the purpose they are destined to fulfill right in their current situations.
For instance, the other day my friend was telling me about a woman she knew who was completely obsessed with finding the ultimate ministry position. She called it her “sweet spot”. Unfortunately, while she was waiting for “someday”, she was completely missing her ability to make her here and now the sweetest place on earth.
I’ll admit that I’ve been there.
Way back in my twenties (a long, long time ago) I came had big dreams of what my life would be like someday…when I was married…when I had kids…when I had a home of my own…when I finally had the ministry position I thought I deserved (insert major eye roll here.) One of the lessons that the Holy Spirit had to teach me that it was wrong to waste my ways dreaming of the days to come while I ignored my purpose in the here and now.
The truth was that I wasn’t called to just wait….I was called to occupy.
God’s purpose for my life at this time was to…
….Grow in my relationship with Jesus
….Allow the Holy Spirit to heal my heart from my past.
….Love my parents and my brother
…..Learn all that I could
…..Serve my family by helping my Mom and brother with their physical issues and taking care of the house God provided (even if it was my parents).
Most importantly, this was the time in my life that I learned that my calling is to love Jesus and fulfill the purpose He’s given me in every season and circumstance in my life. It wasn’t until I came to the place where I prayed (and genuinely meant), “God, if this is all that I do for the rest of my life…loving You and loving and serving my family…then I’m good with that.”
It’s here that I learned that every season of life has a purpose and my purpose is to fulfill my role right now wherever God has placed me.
Perhaps today, you feel like you are struggling to find your purpose.
Maybe you’ve bought into the lie that your purpose is out there waiting for you and someday you’ll find it.
I hope that this article helps you to conquer that lie and bury it once and for all---because it is a lie.
Your purpose isn’t in the future….it is now.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
Do you have a job?
Doing that job to the best of your ability is your purpose.
Do you have family in your life?
Your purpose is to love them and play an active role in their lives.
Do you belong to a church?
Your purpose is to find where God wants you to serve and do it. Remember---serve rarely means you’ll be in the limelight. Serving means doing whatever is needed and giving it everything you have.
Do you have friends? Loving them is your purpose.
Do you live in a community? Find a way to make outreach to your community your purpose.
The list could go on and on, but the principle is the same.
Wherever you are, you have a purpose to fulfill. That’s why God placed you there.
So don’t waste your days wishing you could escape and find your elusive purpose. Instead, find your calling in the here and now and reach your fullest potential there. Someday, God may move you on or you might find that you’ve been living in your mission field all along and God is just waiting for you to see it.
I’m not sure---only time will tell.
In the meantime, stop looking for your “sweet spot” and determine that right now, you will make your situation “the sweetest place on earth” as you begin walking in the purpose and calling God has for you today.
Your purpose is here…are you willing to walk in it?