What Were You Put on Earth to Do?

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Could God be using a detour in your life to fulfill His greater purpose?

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

When you set out to plan your day — or even your week — what is it you want to do most? Even deeper than that — what is your dream?

I didn’t ask you what your dream is for your friend, kids, spouse, church or work — I want to know what your dream is, if you still even know what it is? What were you put here on earth to fulfill?

Now, if you struggle with answers for any of the above, know you’re not alone. Especially if you are a busy mom, knee-deep in daily duties and driving demands, you … are … not … alone.

And yes, I was never a mom — but I was a very involved dad in our four kids’ lives. Every morning, it was my responsibility to get them ready for school, bundle them into the car and drive them where they needed to go. And every evening after work, I focused on dedicated family time — devotions around the table, playtime with them on the floor wrestling or doing board games. (Sometimes I even let them win!)

And for years, I had homework duty, too. So I understand how it feels to sit for hours after a long day at work — glued to the dinner table with a restless child night after night, year after year — trying everything to help the one who struggles with attention-deficit-disorder grasp the importance of perseverance and learning.

I understand the things that keep parents up at night, unable to sleep — concerned with whether or not their children will be equipped to fulfill their dreams. These concerns and passions of parenting, marriage and relationships at church or work can be all-consuming for so long that eventually you wake up one day and realize you’ve forgotten about your dreams, passions and your destiny to fulfill. Just making it through the day is enough.

I get it. I know how it is to give so much you simply do not have enough energy left to think about yourself anymore.

Dream? Only when sleeping.

Purpose? Passion? Eaten up by the daily demands of living a life for others. Which is good. It’s easy to forget what used to inspire you, drive you or even bring you hope.

It’s easy to forget the you in you.

God has a destiny for you. He has a purpose and a plan for you. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, “we are God’s masterpiece … so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” He has something that maximizes your skills, personality, experiences, passions and compassions in a way like no one else ever could.

Sure, it may not happen tomorrow. Nor will you get there by going in a straight line. This is because God sets twists and turns in all our lives that provide opportunities for us to grow, mature, be humbled, learn, develop, surrender, gain confidence and more. I call these twists and turns “detours.”

Detours are unanticipated routes that take us another way to our intended destination. It’s either a sign you come upon, a person who steers you elsewhere or a police car with lights flashing, sitting there to let you know the road you are traveling is no longer available. Inevitably, they are also road bumps to our emotions. Because of the detour, we must go off the beaten path, take longer than we had wished, and be inconvenienced more than we had hoped.

Few of us like to be stalled, for any reason. Even if it’s just someone cutting us off in traffic and forcing us to slow down. But detours are necessary to make any improvement on the paths we travel. Or to clean up any wreck or avoid hazards. Detours are designed for our own good on the roads of life, regardless of how we view them.

Detours are a good thing that often feel bad.

This is because it’s in our detours that we’re developed for our destiny.

We learn patience, compassion, kindness, gratitude and all those wonderful things that empower us to fully live out our dreams. You may feel that your life right now is on one ongoing detour from fulfilling your dreams … while you’re serving the needs of others, setting your own hopes aside. But, just like Joseph whom God positioned from the pit to the palace (read Genesis chapter 37-50), God has a plan for every moment in your life as well. Yes, even the most mundane and monotonous ones.

God is taking you straight to your destiny … in His ever God-like-zig-zagging-sort-of-way.

Father God, help me keep my eyes open and learn to look for Your hand in the midst of happenstance, so my hope remains steadfast and my heart remains full. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (NIV)

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What detours has God allowed you to face in recent months? How could God be using this detour in your life to fulfill His greater purpose?

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