Do you sit and sometimes wonder ‘Why am I here? What is my purpose?’ Do you find yourself at a place in your life where you are thinking ‘how did I get here?’. Almost like when you’re driving a car somewhere and you look up to find you have already arrived at your destination, yet you have no recollection of navigating the roads. Well, just like in that scenario, our lives can sometimes zoom by as if we are on autopilot.
I found myself exactly at that point when I was twenty. I was in my second year of university and living the life that I had mapped out which, honestly didn’t consist of very much now that I look back on it. What eighteen year old really knows how to make wise decisions such as choosing a career or city to live in that will see them through for the rest of their lives? I mean, I was having a hard time believing that I would be twenty-two when I finished university let alone know what I wanted my life to be like at thirty!
But, I did get to a point one night when, as I looked around, I realised that I was doing the same thing as my friends for about the zillionth time and I actually, deep down, didn’t like it. I came to realise that I was on autopilot and had somehow found myself failing my papers at university, not turning up to classes and partying too hard. My life was passing me by because I had not yet found my purpose towards which I could direct my life. Sure, I was studying for a degree and aiming for a great job, but you know what? I thought it was just something that everyone was supposed to do. I don’t regret going, and when I finished I had a huge appreciation for what I had achieved. But, those first few years, I was floundering about and taking direction from people who were equally as unsure about their purpose in life.
So I asked myself ‘What is the purpose of my life?’. It seemed as if I was living for the moment and without any care as to where I was heading. All I could do was hope for the best. I didn’t care if I was fulfilling my purpose in life or care if I was even truly satisfied and happy.
It was one of those moments that seemed to catch me off guard and jolt me out of autopilot mode. There was nothing amazing that I was doing at the time. I wasn’t having a deep and meaningful conversation with a wise person. I wasn’t at the end of my studies and wondering ‘what next?’. In fact, I was right in the middle of my studies, but I finally realised that I was becoming too distracted by what other people were doing around me.
I was seeing other people, mostly new university students, trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives, and I was following along with the flow and hoping that it all worked out okay. I was following their example of how to find my purpose, which was up taking me further away from the life that God had created for me.
But, what if I told you that you don’t have to live your life on autopilot as I did? What if instead, you could know for sure and say honestly “I know what is my purpose in life”. What if you could feel completely satisfied in who you are and the gifts and talents that you have?
Well, straight up, God created us all, so it stands to reason that He would be the one you would start questioning in order to find answers about your purpose.
In Jeremiah 1:5 God says “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” and in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.
This is what I determined in my mind to find out on that night as I snapped out of autopilot. I wanted to know who God created me to be, what plans was I created to fulfil, and I wanted a future that was prosperous and filled with the hope of possibilities.
Here are some simple tips of how you can start finding your purpose in life:
Ask God. Pray and seek His answers.
Find someone who knows God and is confident in who God created them to be. Ask them questions and for practical advice of how they know they are pursuing their purpose.
Find a passionate Jesus loving, Holy Spirit led church.
Don’t be afraid of the answers.