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Live on Purpose and Stop Being a Butter Knife

Life. It's not easy. I often feel lost, stumbling along in the dark. Or maybe like that plastic bag floating in the air, letting the wind take it this way and that. And of course, the "why" always come up followed by the "what." Why am I here? What is my reason?

Sharp Reflections

Well, I only have one real answer...because God.

You were created by God for God and for this time.

You were created by God and for God for His purpose

You were created by God for this period of time, this place, the purpose you have in it,

God created you because He needed you. He wanted you for a specific job on earth. He created you so it would get done. In you exists the power and the tools to solve someone's problem today. Now. In this time. See, God could have placed you on earth at any point in time. In any point since Adam and Eve, He could have placed you. And at any point and time until the end of time, He could have placed you. But He chose now. He chose this place. He chose this generation and this country for you. He chose this community for you. And that’s because whatever your purpose is, whatever job He has for you, whomever you are on earth to help, to love, to guide...they are here now. He knew about our problems. He knew about the rise of technology. He knew about the drug addictions. He knew about the abused children, the children left behind. He knew about the abortions and the broken families. He knew about the broken communities. He knew about the broken country. He knew about the cancers, sicknesses, and diseases, the virus. He knew about them. He knew the problems they all would cause. And He knew you could help.

Shadows of a Blade

Do you all know the story of Esther? She was a Jewish girl who became the Queen of Persia when the people of Israel were in captivity. Of course she didn’t really tell anyone she who or what she was. And like all good stories with a secret, she was faced with a difficult decision of revealing her secret to save her people from death or keeping her true identity hidden and remain least she would be safe. And while she was trying to figure out what to do, her guardian, her friend was pleading with her to help her people who were going to be killed and said,

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

She was put in that place for a reason. For such a time as this.

So the question becomes, how. How can you help? What is the purpose for you being here? What is the job? And isn’t that a question..hmm….what is the meaning of your life? Well guess what. I’ve got a secret…..I don’t know. I don’t know your purpose. Heck, I just figured out mine.

I mean, we are all called to love God and love others? But God has created you for something. And he has given you an unique purpose with unique skills and talents.

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" 1 Peter 4:10

The Black Fork

I remember reading in a devotional about a butter knife. See, I’ve used, and I’m sure you all have too, the simple butter knife in many ways. I’ve pried things up with it, I’ve smooshed thing with it, I’ve hit things with it, I’ve tighten and untightened screws with it, I’ve stirred things with it. And the butter knife was capable of doing all of these things. But it wasn’t created for any of it and in fact, other tools would have been much better suited for those jobs. Hammers, screwdrivers, mixers….But, the one things that a butter knife is really really excellent at is buttering bread. It was created for that purpose. And you were created for a purpose too.

The Edge

We know this because it is stated many times in the bible...but I like:

" 'For I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future'" Jeremiah 29:11

Far too many times, we just do the things are a good because we can, but we do not have any purpose or fulfillment with it. We don't do the things we are passionate about, zealous about, fulfilled with. The things God actually wants you to do. Your purpose. I'm not saying you need to quit your job and spend all day baking (if that is your gift). No, not at all. But you should use your gift for more than just making cupcakes on your child's birthday. Find a way to use it that will serve God. Remember, a job is just that....a job. It may not be your purpose, although sometimes they do coincide. If you do work in a bakery, maybe you find that your purpose is teaching and sharing with others how to bake or maybe in addition to running a successful bakery, you find that the best way to share your gift is to donate your time and skills (and baked goods) to a community meal or shelter.

The Balanced Knife

So, I’d like you to think about your purpose. I’d like you to think about what you are really good at. Write them down. Write down some special gifts that just come super natural to you. Not just that you are good at or that you are capable at….no butter knives here. And it doesn’t have to be a specific task. Are you super gifted in listening? Being empathetic? Being friendly? These are all gifts. I mean...for me...put in a crowded room and I am just going to find a corner. I’m going to do my best to sit quietly by myself and if I’m forced to, I’ll try and make small talk and be polite to the very talkative person who tracked me down. But I know others who can walk in a room and start a conversation...a real conversation with anyone...instantly. Like they know each others life stories and are like best friends. That’s a gift that God has plans for.

But maybe your gift is something more tangible. Maybe you're gifted in cooking. Maybe in singing. What is it you love deeply, that stirs your soul? And then start thinking how you can use those gifts.

Forked Together

See, for me, I'm a creator. A writer. A helper. A communicator. An empathizer. An encourager. I’m optimistic. Compassionate. Creative. So I use those gifts in different ways. I’m a photographer who captures God’s beauty in all of its forms...not just pretty sunsets but in deeper, abstract ways. I share them and His Word in different perspectives. I write. I open up about my problems to encourage and support those who are going through the same thing. I help anyone who asks. Like, I do not know the word NO. I am the cheerleader on the sidelines.

Using His gifts that He gave me for His glory.

Mountains in a Knife

I did a devotional with my daughter Emily. She’s 12. So, in this devotional, it talks about how God created everyone with a purpose. And I asked her what she thought hers was...what her special gifts were. And then I right away said it was ok if she didn't was a hard question. But before I could even finish, she point blank looked at me as said, very matter of factly, working with kids mom….I work with little kids and help them. BOOM! She had it. She loves to help out in Kids' Church. Any room. Any age. Any job. She loves it. But she is also crazy good at it. She can comfort any crying kid. She can talk to them...keep them following the rules. She’s great. She helps out before service, after service. All the time. But it’s not just church...where ever we are she’s like a pied piper for little kids.... they are just drawn to her. She was absolutely right. It’s her gift.

So I asked her, well, what are you going to do with it? How can you use that gift now? She didn't say much and we finished the reading and went about our day. A bit later I went outside and I saw her with chalk at the sidewalk. I thought she was drawing a picture but it didn't quite look like anything. So I walked down to see for 3 houses, she had created a path. A path for kids to play on as they walked. It had zig zags, hops, jumps, spins….everything a kids would love to do. She created a chalk walk to brighten the days of the little kids in our neighborhood.

She’s 12.

Emily's Chalk Walk

So, what are you doing? What are you doing today, in this time and in this place to further the kingdom of God? Because He put you here. He wants you to do something in this time, in this place. He wants you to use the gifts, talents, and skills He gave you for a purpose. A reason. So, are you just being a plastic bag floating through the air or are you living with purpose? On purpose. Are you using your gifts for His plan or just doing things are a capable of?

You were created by God for this time, this place. And you were given certain gifts to use for a purpose He created you for. So now you just need to figure out what to do with them. How it all works. How to spread butter rather than pry open jars.

Keep Finding the Light....

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