Have you ever felt like you were living a dot-to-dot life? Like you are just trying to survive this week to get to that family vacation next week. Getting through the next few days till you have a gathering with friends. Or, just a few years and the kids will all be in school!
I have felt this way a lot. While living in our last home I was always living from this event to the next. I was in a good mood and excited leading up to the next planned family outing, or event with our son’s Down syndrome group and just kept telling myself, “I just have to get to ____!” Then the event would come and go and there was always a big letdown coming back home. To counter the depressed feeling I would quickly shift my thoughts to what event was coming up next. How long did I have to wait? How many days did I have to survive caring for my 3 young children before something would be happening to give me some relief and a break from my life?
I was living in a fog and did not have my eyes focused on the Lord. I was only living for myself (and for my kids) and had no idea what a life of contentment in the Lord could mean. Now I am learning about contentment in the Lord and this past week’s lesson was about getting your life in focus. You can’t climb the corporate ladder, win a football game, or even bake a cake without a clear focus of what you are doing. So how can you live your life, and live for Christ, if you aren’t focused on Christ.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
We were encouraged to write a life purpose statement. Linda Dillow, author of Calm My Anxious Heart, gave us examples of 4 women and their life purpose statements. (See note at end of post if you want to read more about these) Then she instructs us to spend an hour alone with God, asking him to reveal His life purpose statement for us. Then we are to write down any thoughts or ideas that come to us. Before doing this exercise, I was standing at the sink doing dishes and I had a bible verse come to mind. I could only stumble through a few words, “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.” Since my husband is a pastor I turned to him to help and with a little searching he found it:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Oh what comforting words these are to me. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” In my life right now that is a very blessed reminder that the Lord is in control. And since I started this bible study, Philippians 4:11-13 has been a great source of strength and peace:
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
These two verses, along with a couple of statements of how I will strive to live my life, became my life purpose statement. I can finally see now that the fog has lifted! I have a clearer vision for my life. Rather than just surviving my days, I am thinking about what I want to accomplish with this life and the talents the Lord has given me. I can daily tend to the little details that keep that big picture – “…eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 – in focus!
**To read an excerpt about Life Purpose Statements from Calm My Anxious Heart go to this link on Amazon, click the picture of the book to look inside. Then under the search box click the sample search “life purpose statment.” Start reading on page 110.