This ‘Student Perspective’ article is contributed by Yeol-Shim Bell, CARP’s summer intern.
God needs you to pursue your purpose.
Many people in the modern world live only for themselves and their own happiness. While some people may wish to only take or receive, true joy cannot come from self-centered pursuits. I often catch myself only wanting to read books, watch Netflix, or browse the internet. But, the world God has longed for will result when each person does what they are meant to do, not just what they want to do.
Everyone has a purpose.
Throughout school, I didn’t know my purpose. I knew I liked observing people and escaping into my novels, but I had no serious future plans. I was reading a book of poetry when I had the idea to write poetry myself. Scribbling a brief stanza seemed less intimidating than expressing myself via a long essay.
One winter, I decided to share a few poems with my youth group. I shook like grass in the wind, but the ending applause buoyed my courage enough for me to share my poems on two other occasions. While I now blush at my early rough attempts at poetry, I was inspired to continue honing my craft from those experiences.
I was inspired to hone my craft.
During this first dip into the writing pool, I was terrified of the possibility of looking foolish and boring. What if my words could not touch people’s hearts in the same way other words have touched mine? What if the literature I leave behind becomes forgettable poetry? What if I was forgettable and pointless?
My original excitement from crafting words and sharing my passion was (luckily) enough to topple my initial fears. Over time, reading amazing authors bolstered my courage to continue finessing my writing. I want to be an awe-inspiring writer like the ones that had stifled my doubts and strengthened my passions. I’m still working on it but at least I have started the journey. This journey led me to discover my current purpose.
I want to inspire people to overcome their fear.
I often felt constricted, helpless, and lost before seeing how I could improve the world. By seeing the bigger picture and looking at a situation from God’s perspective, I intend to transform the way people view and use fear. My personal struggle with fear has motivated me to embolden others in their pursuits in spite of their insecurities.
We understand courage mostly from the heroic tales we grew up; yet, these stories often don’t include God, our Heavenly Parent, who has given us limitless potential and freedom to create. For me, I feel like God speaks powerfully through words and through my own words, God can be expressed. Ultimately, each of us has a God-given purpose and it’s up to us to discover what that is.
Fulfilling my purpose (eliminating fear through the power of words) gives me great joy; finding and fulfilling your purpose will bring happiness to your life as well. You may not know what your purpose is yet, but you can begin discovering it by seeking new experiences, reflecting, and developing your current skills. Young people, especially, confuse being unclear about which career to pursue with not having a purpose at all. Your God-given purpose is bigger than just a career path; it’s about your contribution to humanity and the legacy you leave behind.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and reflect on:
- What do you love to do? What brings you joy?
- Do you like to focus most on people’s connections, feelings, thoughts, or actions?
- Do you want to improve people’s lives, inspire them, or expand their perspective?
- How may you benefit the world in your corner?
There’s a special lesson that I’ve learned in this process. When you think of your purpose and how it connects to serving others or a higher power, the blocks in your way seem to disappear or lessen. A purpose that helps others has a huge impact on not only you, but also on the world around you.
Use your strengths to heal the world.
If you love communicating, you can help to connect like-minded people from all over the world. If you are good with visuals, you can design images that communicate a common goal. Through effort and intention, we could solve global issues by combining each of our unique talents and gifts.
God is within every person. Each person has a unique gift to share. So, why don’t we help each other discover what that purpose is? The ideal world will remember us for what we give to others, either directly or indirectly. Our legacy is the sum of the people we impact.
Although we started with the question, “what’s my purpose?” let’s consider a few more:
What’s your purpose?
What’s our purpose?
What can we do together to contribute to a global purpose?