Tuesday, June 06, 2006

FINDING YOUR PURPOSE

Like many people who have come to Jesus, (in the literal sense), later in life, I was motivated by the eternal questions:

-LORD, TELL ME WHO I AM?
-WHO AM I SUPPOSE TO BE?
-AND WHAT I AM SUPPOSE TO DO?

For a vast majority of those who hit mid-life these are questions that seemed to be ingrained within our subconscious, some might say like our natural instincts to hunt, or to pursue the opposite sex, or to raise a family. These basic instincts seem to almost haunt us as they constantly rear their head in times of solitude, or introspection.

We all want to feel wanted. We all want to feel we are special or unique. We all want to feel we have an intrinsic value…that we matter in some way in the big-picture of life!

For those not yet connected to God, they may pursue answers to these questions through all manor of methods: Higher education; pursuing an upwardly mobile career path; through alcohol or drugs; through sexual conquest; through marriage after marriage; through rebelling against the norms/customs of their culture…and the list is endless.

But for many, (myself included), the path of self discovery always leads back to one direction...we can only truly find ourselves when we find God!

I’ll use myself as a guinea pig for this example. I felt I had a number of natural talents that other people around me just didn’t seem to have. I was artistically talented, even at the age of 8, where the 2nd grade teachers would pass me from classroom to classroom to do portraits of the teachers and I always seemed to embraced the limelight, and had no fear of speaking in front of a group of people whether big or small.

I always just took these things for granted, because they were always there, always inside of me. It never occurred to me that I was different than 99% of my classmates because in 1st grade I already understood how to draw in perspective and what vanishing points were. No one ever taught me, I just instinctively seemed to know! But even armed with this “special talent or gift”, I could never really find my place or use for it in the work-a-day world. And it was not for lack of trying either! I attempted to use my artist talent to: Create a daily comic strip; to become a free-lance illustrator; to design giftware and to create and publish secular based comic books. But nothing special, successful or profitable ever came from my artistic-based career pursuits.

Than something changed drastically in my life, when in 1999, I surrendered my pride and my life to Jesus and accepted him as truly the Son of God and my savior. (To view my complete testimonial on how and why this occurred, visit the webpage: http://www.headpress.info/about_luedke.html ) For the better part of the first two years of my journey toward and with God, I prayed often about discovering who I was, what was my purpose and for God to reveal to me my reason for being. In a morning of prayer, in Dec. 2002, God answered my questions! That morning, he kind of shook the cobwebs out of my head and said…”HEY…THE ANSWER IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! WHY DO YOU THINK I GAVE YOU THIS INCREDIBLE NATURAL ABILITY THAT MOST PEOPLE ONLY CAN MARVEL AT, IF I DIDN’T WANT YOU TO USE IT FOR A VERY SPECIAL PURPOSE?” (I am of course paraphrasing the message I received through prayer that morning). “ I DESIGNED YOU TO USE YOUR ARTIST TALENTS AND YOUR COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS TO SPREAD MY WORD IN A WAY AND TO AN AUDIENCE THAT IT IS NOT BEING SPREAD TO NOW.”

For me that could only mean one thing…I was to use the art-form/literary genre with which I was the most familiar with and which God, (through my life experiences to date), had led me to become knowledgeable of and adept at…the comic-book style of storytelling. Further, it meant that this little story that had been floating around in the back of my head, almost from the day I became born again in Christ, was how I was to focus those talents. And thus, Eye Witness was born and suddenly I had my purpose! I was so excited by this revelation, that I called my wife long-distance to tell her of this development, (she was on vacation with my kids in another state at the time)! She gave me the ol’…”that nice honey…did you remember to feed the dog?” But as time went by, she came to realize the enormous impact this day truly had on my life.

This is one of the wonderful benefits of accepting Jesus and the Holy Spirit in your life. You may for the first time, understand your place in God’s big picture. You may for the first time, be able to see yourself as the unique, wonderful creation that God has made you. And you may for the first time, understand why you’ve experienced some of the strange, traumatic and confusing situations that made up your life experiences…because it all has a purpose in who you are now!

Everyone will not be an artist or writer for God, just like everyone will not be a pastor or minister to a congregation. But my point of this post is, that there are so many parts to the body of Christ, that everyone has value and can contribute. Some teach, some serve, some mentor, some council, some entertain and inspire, some evangelize, some soldier, some pray, some sing and some administer. God has gifted us all in a unique way to take on his directions for us. The wonderful challenge and reward of truly allowing the Holy Spirit to work within you, is discovering what piece in God’s cosmic puzzle you are!

Resources: To help you understand this thought and lead you down the road to further discovery, I would suggest reading, Rick Warren’s A PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, and Renee Hornbuckle’s, THE POWER OF PASSION: Finding and Following the Path to your Passion.

Copyright 2006, Robert James Luedke, author of... Eye Witness: Acts of the Spirit and Eye Witness: Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth.

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