When Passions become Purpose

At the beginning of my Freshman year, I thought (on top of everything else I was already doing) that I would lead a missions trip to India. And thank God that didn’t happen. But not before I stood up before the whole student body and told them that God doesn’t have one plan for a persons life. We have multiple passions for a reason. God doesn’t give us those passions only to condemn us to a life of misery if we don’t follow the one he has picked out for us to follow. I wholeheartedly believe this. But somewhere along the way, I forgot.

Several things caused me to forget. The first of which is what I know I want my life to be about, the non-negotiables of my existence. I want my life to be about helping others. I will not live a life about me. I will not live a selfish existence. I desire, almost to madness, to invest in others. To pour little parts of myself into the spaces and cracks of others and have them do the same to me. (A theory of why this may be is a whole other post)

The second thing that cause me to forget that there is not one set path for my life was a focus on what I love to do. I love to give advice. I have a natural instinct for it and love of learning about the mind and what makes us tick. I could literally sit in my psychology class forever and not get bored. I also have a found a passion in making coffee. I’ll never forget the first time I pulled a shot and saw the morning light stream in through the windows and illuminate the caramel body in a glory that I’d never before witnessed. I have three more years to pursue a degree in one of these things. (Or so I was set on believing)

The third thing that caused me to forget and really tie the first two together in a masterpiece of misery are the facts that I am an achiever and a strategist. This means that I will obsess about the outcomes of anything that I want to do. I will research it until I’ve exhausted all my resources. I will think about it constantly, trying to decide if whatever it is happens to be the best course of action. And if I think it is, I will pursue it with a vigor that is inexhaustable. Some might call it obsessive, but let’s not.

When I looked at what I wanted my life to be about and what I loved to do with the motivation of an achiever and a mind of a strategist, I became panicked. There were cons to both of them with the pro that I loved doing each and could not reconcile them. I would have to chose one or the other.

But I was talking with my brother, something that often brings me clarity, and my eyes were opened. It was mind bending. I’d complicated it. Life that is. I’d complicated life. I’d forgotten that life paths are a choice and when I looked at my choices, I saw that neither were bad, both would be hard, and either would be worth it. But more than that, I saw the wide variety of the choices that I have. I saw the options that I had been to distracted to see. I saw there there was more than just a coffee shop, and more than just being a counselor. AND I might chose a path that I can’t even imagine now. Who knows.

The point of it all and the thing that my strategist-achiever mind was not content with, was the fact that God calls us to accept Him, follow Him, and love Him. Our purpose is not to crusade, conquer, accomplish, achieve, etc. And I don’t know what this looks like executed perfectly. I am human and besides, God doesn’t call us to be perfect. However, I do know that the times that I get most tripped up is when I let my passions become my purpose. This is what caused me to forget. But now I know. I remember.

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