I have come to believe that we all have something to do, a unique purpose. Maybe it’s not necessarily that the purpose is pre-defined, but we have unique strengths and gifts that suit us for one thing or another.
I’m not exclusively talking about the career we choose or the Big Thing we do with our lives, although it’s an ideal situation when your purpose and your career/path merge. It could be that you have a gift for teaching, an unusual sense of compassion, or the ability to relate well with others. These types of gifts seem small, but by using them in many areas and times of our lives, you might come to recognize it is the Big Thing you contribute to the world.
Some people seem to innately know what their purpose is and are actively living it, while others (like ME) have to search for a while to find it. And some of us know or think we know what it is but are keeping quiet about it because it’s too scary to put out into the world.
I think we have an obligation to intentionally use those gifts and talents and do our best to fulfill that purpose. Because if we don’t, we are rejecting our God-given potential and telling Him we don’t need it/don’t have time for it/don’t trust the gift.
But when you move into your purpose and accomplish something important with it, you begin to understand that much of the work didn’t really come from you, but through you. And what you’ve done is so much better than what you thought you could do, because by using your gifts you invited the divine power that comes along with them. God helps you accomplish His purposes and the work ends up better than it could have been otherwise.
Once you know that though, sometimes you feel like a fraud for taking credit. I often feel this way when I happen to write something good. Because writing is the way God communicates best with me, sometimes I look back and think, “I wrote that?? No way, because I didn’t even know that.” Then I realize, God must have poured some goodness into my brain and (because I was using my gift!) the goodness miraculously ended up on my page. But that’s the reward for being the conduit: experiencing the joy that comes from sharing it and letting it affect others.
In one of my favorite books, Sarah Ban Breathnach describes it this way:
“Spirit had used my personal gifts to give outward expression to something that would not have existed if I had refused to take up my pen. And, having accepted the Great Creator’s assignment and run with it, I had both the right and the obligation to own–and to share–the work that resulted.”
I love that idea — that there is something that you can give the world that wouldn’t exist otherwise. And I believe that wholeheartedly.