When we are present we can pursue our purpose and as we fulfill our purpose we are able to be present – it really is a beautiful cycle. How do we do this though? I keep coming back to that question of “how?” One thing I know for sure is that focus is a key component. In order to unearth our purpose and to be more present in that purpose we have to be focused. While at the Belong Tour I was able to participate in a couple of incredible exercises created by a group called Life Reimagined. The activities were designed to help us focus and explore our purpose. I found them to be potent and motivating. They also gave us the opportunity to create our purpose statement and boy was I baffled by my outcome. Here is mine.
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
“The purpose of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
The only change I made was in the passions section. There really was not a category that encompassed my passion for “gathering people” so I selected “social” and have chosen to substitute that word accordingly. Boy is this statement truly a picture of my gifts, my passions, who I desire to make an impact on, my values and what I want to BE. Could this have been more incredible timing? (I did enlist the help of my friend to pick the top 3 and make sure I had an accurate view of my gifts.)
This purpose statement makes things so clear and truly I feel like I can filter everything in my life through it. I will say there were a couple of values and passions that didn’t make the top three that are very close to my heart and will be a part of how I create an impact (one that pops to mind in the passions area is my love for the “outdoors,” and one that is in the value section that didn’t make the cut was “family values”). But, you see these things can be encompassed into other categories or in other ways and that is why they ultimately didn’t make the cut. I chose to focus in, and I really believe it will help me be more present.
If I am able to say “yes” to the things that fit into this purpose, this way God has designed me, then I will be saying no to things that don’t fit in or support this purpose. In Shauna Niequist’s words I will not “sacrifice the best parts of me at the altar of productivity.” (Present Over Perfect, 2016) I truly believe that the things I will say yes to in the future will fit in line with this purpose statement. I am planning to create a display that I can use as a reminder to myself daily so that I can focus and be present.
Here is the thing, as I focused in and chose to be present God proved faithful. He spoke to my heart and mind clearly. I walked away from the conference with so much to process, dive into and to explore. It was refreshing, invigorating, inspiring and so incredibly challenging.