Purpose in the Midst of Redirection

When I was in elementary school, my dream was to become a professional Lego designer. My world revolved around the idea that I would grow up and I would run the Lego Company and get free toys forever. As I got older, this passion kept getting farther away as I became interested in it less and less. My Purpose was beginning to change, and it still is. That’s a simple example of a bigger idea about the dreams that many of us have in life. My elementary world revolved around this, but as I got older my dreams changed. Life brings change whether we are ready for it or not, people around us change and we begin to find love for new things. Sometimes in life we have a dream and pursue it with all of our strength, but the doors shuts, and we are lost. I know many of you have faced this because I face it. There’s a terrible feeling you get when life seems to be aimless and without direction. I know this feeling because all through high school I felt it, I had no purpose that I was trying to pursue. It seemed like every door I would run to would be shut just as I was about to go through. It seems to be a thing that everyone goes through, no matter how old or young you may be. In times like this it’s easy for us to blame God, when in reality, he is moving us toward something better.

I am moving towards a purpose that God has slowly been moving me toward for a long time. The reason it takes long is because I get in the way of what he really wants to move me towards. I focus on what I want and not what he wants. As I have been reading through James, I have been learning what I should be doing when it feels like life keeps blocking my direction. James 1:19-22 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” I love this because it is so honest about what we do as humans and how we should react when life gets tough.

We must listen to what the word says.

All of us want to get our way, which is tough when God’s plan conflicts with our plan. God’s plan can often be harder and tougher to reach, especially when it is a different plan from the one that I want it to be. God wants us to trust in in all things, every aspect of life, we just need to stop trying to do it by ourselves. That part about being slow to speak and slow to become angry means that before we get all defensive when the scripture conflicts with our lifestyle, step back and think about the wise choice. What will happen if I go my way? It’s most likely not going to end well, sorry to break it to you. If we read the word and listen to what it says, receiving council from people we trust, our life will be directed towards our true purpose.

We need to cut out the things that hold us back.

It wouldn’t make sense for me to drive a car blindfolded, yet that’s essentially what we are doing when we cling to our worldly desires. I can listen and read the word, but unless I cut out the junk in my life, I will continue to wander. For me this means, don’t spend hours watching Netflix, instead fill that time with reading and growing spiritually. This looks different for everyone, and no matter what it is, it might be a challenge to get rid of it. Don’t let the junk in your life direct the purpose for your life. Run after God’s purpose, and when life gets hard, turn your trust to him and you will find life.

We need to do.

Take action. Don’t just read the word and think about the things that you should do, actually do it. Change doesn’t just magically happen, it happens with hard work and over time. Is it going to be easy, sadly no. I guarantee that it will be worth it, more than anything else in this world. As you have doors close in front of you, don’t stand passively, move to the next opportunity and give it your all. Even though it may not be the end of your purpose, your testimony will grow and you can lead others using the wisdom you have acquired. Take action and pursue God, that is your purpose.

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My journey isn’t over yet, I am still learning and growing. I am not a perfect person, I will stumble and make mistakes, but that’s ok. We all do, and we all learn from them. I will pursue Christ in all I do, in all of my dreams. I will follow my dream of raising up leaders and impacting the next generation, but if God redirects that dream, I will still follow him. I don’t know the end and to be honest I don’t want to know it. All I need to focus on during this long journey is to trust God in all things and he will guide my path. I will listen, I will remove the junk, and I will take action in my pursuit of Christ.

-Joshua Thomas

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