Mark Twain was quoted as saying “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you discover why.”
God created everyone with a purpose. We were not born to just grow up, live, get married, obtain employment, have kids, gain as much “stuff” as we can and then die. Society leads us to believe that those who have the best jobs, the best kids and die with the most stuff win. That false sense of purpose is why many who are rich and famous suffer with severe depression. They may have “arrived” by society’s standards, but their heart still has a hole in it. Their soul still longing and asking the question “Why am I here?!?”
In John 15:16 we read “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and (that) your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” Fruit in this verse is the result of the works we do here. Things that will long outlive us once we’re gone. Our legacy. We are designed to leave a footprint. Our souls long to be fulfilling our purpose we were created for.
People ask me “How did you know what your purpose was!?!” “How can I know what mine is?!?” My simple answer is this “Seek God”. Not just believe he exists, but SEEK him. The bible tells us clearly in Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” The right job. The right friends. The right opportunities. The right talents and platforms to show his love. And by God’s beautiful design, all of our platforms are different! We are not all meant to be well known preachers or singers or artists. We are meant to show Gods love as a waitress, a nurse, a factory worker. It’s not about the title you bear, it’s about the love in your heart for those around you who are lost and hurting. Yes, God has blessed some with money and fame to do great big things and I’m thankful for that. But that doesn’t make those of us who are not, any less called. I recently heard an evangelist say “Do what God has called you to do with joy and excellence, BEFORE You get the title.”
We are not all meant to have huge platforms like Joyce Meyer or Billy Graham. But we are ALL called to love and share the good news of God’s glorious perfect plan of salvation, redemption and love. So that’s what you do. You ask God to show you the purpose he has for you. To give you favor and open doors to lead you to that. And yes, sometimes your purpose, is your job. But sometimes, likely for most of us, it becomes a “side job” like mine has. I love to write and speak and share God’s love, but it doesn’t pay the bills. I still have to get up and go to work every day. But at my work I had a woman placed in my path that I was able to quietly show God’s love to. And honestly, the best “God Moments” I have, the ones where I know he is using me and I am pleasing him most, are not when I see the sales of my book. They are not when I speak in front of a crowd. They are when I’m in the grocery, gas station or restaurant and God nudges me “This one. Now.” It’s when he stretches me and I have to reach out of my comfort zone, and risk looking like a crazy lady, but I do it anyway.
Indulge me as I share my most recent experience. I stop at Meijer at 10pm after a Sunday night church service to pick up a few things I needed. To be totally transparent, I was feeling a bit “blue”. I had made the mistake of looking at FB earlier in the day for just a few minutes and I saw pictures of happy couples at the zoo or whatever location they happened to be at viewing Christmas Lights with their lattes and their happy smiles. In that moment my heart ached and I felt lonely. (Luckily, I remembered I have the power to shut off the phone, get off that app. Don’t look at things that make me sad. I remembered that I too had once posted a pic of my ex and I in front of the Christmas lights and it was a beautiful picture for the rest of the world to see. What that picture did not show was the destruction that was occurring behind our closed doors. A good reminder – Social Media is a FALSE REALITY folks. It can be used for many good things. But it can also bring destruction if you fall into the trap of thinking everyone BUT YOU has this perfect, picture book life. If it becomes a distraction. If it makes you feel bad. And if it does, turn it off! Sorry! Squirreled!) So I get in a line to check out, but for some reason I don’t stay in that line. I move down one more. Can’t even tell you why. In front of me is a little boy, likely 8 or 9, standing with the cart. I smile as I pull in behind him with my cart. Then I hear the sweetest, softest voice say “excuse me”. The little boys mother squeezed past and mumbled softly “I’m sorry. I was looking at those pretty purses over there” – I looked to where she had came from and saw the 40% off sign – “But I can’t be buying myself something. It’s Christmas.” Oh snap! It started… the nudging. The whispering in my ear. I surveyed her cart and it didn’t have much in it. There were carrots and other healthy food choices and a couple of small gifts. I looked closer at the little boy. He had on a nice, warm, clean coat and clothes and was smiling a huge smile as he put the small box on the belt and said “Momma, Daddy will be so excited and surprised when he sees this!” She smiled at him and said “Yes baby, he will.” Then I looked at her. She was wearing older, baggy jeans with a couple of holes in them – not the stylish holes. She had on a baggy sweatshirt. She was humble and sweet. As she’s talking to the cashier God’s saying “Kris – this one! Bless her with one of those purses. Be my hands and feet – show her I love her.” How God? I don’t know which one she liked. Look – the line is getting longer behind me, I’ll pray for her. “Do it Kris.” So I smiled at the little boy, I mean after all, kids usually like me right?!? He can help me with this! I say quietly “Do you know what purse your mom liked back there??” He looked at me, scared, shook his head no and immediately walked to the front of the cart, in front of his mother to get as far away from this crazy lady as he could. I could see him thinking “Stranger Danger!!!!” Ugh. I scared a kid God, now what!?! She’s paying for her bill, I’m out of time, I have to move NOW! The cashier had already started grabbing my items and scanning a couple as I tap the sweet lady in front of me on the shoulder with an “Excuse me” she turned and looked at me and like he always does when we are obedient, the words just come. “I’m sorry but I feel like God wants me to bless you tonight. Will you please let me buy you the purse you were looking at?” The cashier stops scanning, the woman looks at me and that’s the longest 2 seconds while you wait for the response…and then it comes…. “What? Seriously you want to do that for me? You don’t even know me…why would you want to do something for me?….but yes…are you sure?” I said “Yes, I’m sure.” While she’s gone getting the purse I look up to see the cashier with a tear in her eye as I apologize for holding up the line. She smiles. The little boy watches his mother go get a purse and return with tears falling over a huge smile. I hug her and I say to her softly in that hug “Jesus loves you”. I see the little boy watching me and hearing me tell her “Jesus loves you.”
As I drove away I liked to imagine that the purse for that woman maybe wasn’t even my mission that night. Maybe it was to show that little boy that no matter what he hears on the news or sees in school, God is still real. Jesus does still love us. Maybe, jut maybe that one moment will be a memory that causes him to choose the right path years from now. Or maybe that moment was for me? Because the “blues” I felt walking into that store were gone. I was reminded that showing God’s love is what not just Christmas, but EVERY DAY is all about! That’s our purpose!! I’m not saying go into a store and buy people stuff. I’m saying get on your knees, pray, ask God to use you every day and then be obedient. Many times it never requires money. Many times it’s just a sincere, kind word spoken or a smile. Many times it’s saying “Can I pray with you?” Got kids? Take them to a nursing home with some crayons and a coloring book and visit some of the patients and watch them light up as they see the kids and get the beautiful crayon pictures to hang in their rooms. And before you leave, ask if you can pray with them. We’re all a million different doors for God’s love to shine through. Once you open your door – the light comes out and the peace comes in and you realize “This is why I’m here.” And NOTHING you can buy feels better than that moment when you are living out your purpose. Faith without works is dead. But works need to be done in love, not a sense of obligation or another thing on your Christian check off sheet.
My prayer for you is that you move forward boldly into2016 loving your neighbor and fulfilling your purpose!