One of the hardest climbs for many to make is the one to purpose. For some reason we become captive to our personal day to day tasks, and the view at the top is blocked from our view by clouds of the urgent, the necessary, the tactical decisions required at the moment.
Is our definition of our purpose important? I’ve been asking this question as I look at the future of some of the ministries and businesses I serve. Does it matter if people grasp a present/future scenario of transformational potential?
Yes, I think it matters. It matters because our understanding of purpose determines the actions we will take. Our definition of purpose informs the message we communicate to others. Our purpose either restrains our work or drives us to remove barriers that keep us from accomplishing the work of God in this world.
In the 1800s a young nurse, Florence Nightingale, lifted nursing to become one of the most desirable vocations a young woman could choose. While many people might have described nursing as changing bed pans and bandaging wounds, Miss Nightingale believed nurses could influence hospital systems and overall healthcare. She was outspoken in her efforts to bring changes in hygiene and overall treatment of patients.
Florence Nightingale didn’t see her life in the narrow confines of her task but rather the impact she was having and could have on all of life. Because of her the entire field of understanding of healthcare has been changed. Florence Nightingale “developed a conception of spiritual motherhood and saw herself as the mother of the men of the British army–”my children”–whom she had saved.” She saw her role as a nurse in the totality of the impact she was making and could make, and because of this, she was able to do more to influence the field of nursing than anyone before her.
Our understanding of our purpose will either restrict our impact for Christ, or it will lead us to do those things that we never dreamed we could do.
So how do you view what you do?
**To foster a daily passion for purpose in your life, check out A Passion for Purpose by Kimberly Sowell, Edna Ellison, Joy Brown, Tricia Scribner, and Marie Alston**