Is this the right thing for me?

Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get. (Proverbs 20:18)

Most of us don't get up in the morning and set out aimlessly on our day. Even that cup of coffee you are drinking is made with purpose - you wanted it! Purpose can also be described as determination - being directed toward a certain point and then doggedly making every effort to get to that point. Our "purpose" is to be found in Christ - his life within us is to give meaning to our steps and a sense of determination to our actions. Some of us don't feel like we understand our purpose in life - having been shot down a few times when we tried to step out to do something or having believed for way too long that our actions don't matter or make a difference. We can come to Christ with our feelings of being "aimless" and "purposeless" - asking him to bring clarity, give us direction, and to bolster us for the journey ahead.

We come to a place of understanding our purpose knowing how purpose is 'formed' within us. You might liken it to what someone who does ceramics uses in creating the item they desire. They use "molds" or "forms" into which they pour the "raw, runny clay". It cannot hold any form apart from being placed into the mold and fired. The "mold" is a way of bringing the "raw stuff" into a particular "form" which once subjected to the heat will become hardened and able to be painted and glazed, in order to be fired once again. This might just give us a little hint as to how our purpose is "formed" - not all at once, but with repeated steps which make it clearer and clearer until we see the finished purpose come to pass within our lives.

We form our purpose by asking for counsel. Asking might make us appear as though we don't think for ourselves, or that we are "weak" in some particular character trait. This may not always be clear to us - so wise counsel is important to assist us in knowing how it is our purpose is 'formed' within us. We have to beware though of those who might want to make us fit into a mold which we were never intended to fill. This is where we also need the confirmation of the scripture and Holy Spirit to help us "clarify" any counsel we might receive. The important part of this is that we "ask" for help when we don't actually know what next steps to take.

Sometimes our aim in life doesn't come out as we would have liked - but it doesn't make those steps we took toward fulfilling that purpose any less special to our heavenly Father. He will put on display every faithful step, even when it turns out less than we might have imagined! Purpose doesn't end with knowing it - it is something which never ends because we are perpetually clarifying and acting upon what we discover. I have "acted upon" some things I thought God may have been directing me toward. I sought counsel from wise friends, read the scriptures, and felt I was moving in the right direction for my life. In the end, I found I wasn't finding much fulfillment in those pursuits, so I abandoned them. They weren't the right "fit" for my life. Was God "mad at me" for having pursued them? Not at all. In fact, he used even those "flops" as opportunities to clarify my purpose in life. This is what we do in life - step out, sometimes stumbling a little in the process - then get up again and step on.

I used to do this all alone - thinking I had it all together. Now, I recognize how much my "all together" was really nothing more than pride and arrogance. We cannot be too caught up in wanting to do things all on our own to actually ask another for help. When we are, we might "fit a mold", but we might be too blind to know it wasn't the right "mold" for us in the first place. Just sayin!

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