Sunday, May 1, 2016

Passion vs Purpose

I think a lot of us have heard to “Follow your passion” and “What’s your purpose in life” at some point or another. For a long time, I had those two things personally mixed up. In this post, I wanted to just chat a little about my personal view of my life’s passion/purpose relationship.  

Now, I hope this doesn’t come off like with a “motivational speaker” feel. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, I don’t think it’s my cup of tea. Mostly, I like to view my blog as just my views and opinions on life. They fit the way I live. I don’t think everything is universal or believe in specific buzzwords or “7 Steps” for improving someone’s quality of life. Each person is on their own individual journey and God wired each of us uniquely. Just because something that works for me might not be the best for you and vice versa. :)

Ok, back to the topic at hand. I personality have a crap ton of passions and am interested in probably far too many things than I have time for. I guess I figured those are all of the little things that made up what the world knows as “Seth”. I would go through various phases of each of these interests. After a few months of pressing into a specific thing, I would see others extremely more gifted and passionate about it, get discouraged, and move onto something else. For so long, I was so desperate to find out that one thing I could do or something I truly enjoyed more so much that would help me discover my purpose. And it never came. One of the reasons, I think it bothered me so much is that I’m a BIG PICTURE kind of person. I felt like I wanted to find that BIG passion about that will spring me into my BIG purpose. I loved being a husband and a dad, entertaining friends, creating things, doing things for other people, playing piano, making people laugh, etc. There were so so so many things I loved doing, but not one specific area pointed me in a direction of my God given purpose or one that that completed captivated my interest. I think it caused me go get a little depressed for a few years.  I was living a fantastic life, I loved Jesus, my family was amazing, but there was just something I knew I was meant to be doing!

Fast forward a few years. Now it’s just me and the kids. I’m doing my single dad thing and still doing all of my hobbies when I had time, but I still felt this tiny little thing inside me (my purpose) that was dying to know. I knew it was more than being a good dad, working hard at my job, being there for friends, etc. I think I drew closer to God a lot over those past few years, but still never really figured it out. However as more and more time went by, finding my purpose just kind of got put on hold. I quit focusing on finding it, so that desire just kind of went into hibernation.

Well, of course God revealed all of this to me in the most unique and simple way. I’ll try to explain it the best I can. Hahahaha. Sometimes I feel like trying to explain what’s going inside my brain is like trying to dump out a can of Alphabet soup and trying to alphabetize each letter in order. :D I know everything I have is right there in front of me, but organizing it all can be tough. 

Anyways, I was just doing my morning routine. I dropped all of my kids off at their schools and was headed to work. Normally, I don’t make stops on the way to work. I prefer to maximize my time at work to get the most done. However, this morning I was in the car just listening to some worship music and driving some backroad route to avoid school buses and get me to work faster. So I was just driving and just kind of hanging out with God, when I noticed this patch of sunflowers. They were all lined up just facing the sun and just soaking up the rays. I actually pulled my car over on the side of the road and got out to look at them because it was just so mesmerizingly beautiful. Suddenly, the subject of my purpose came back up to my brain. I was just standing there on the side of the road talking to God about these little flowers getting life from the sun. I again started to ponder how I could be affect people and fulfill that desire & life that everyone needs that way the sun did for these flowers. I was so tired of being this generic human and Christian. I know he made each of us so unique; I wanted to fulfill His vision for my life.

I just stood there for a few minutes staring off into space. I’m sure people driving were so confused by this guy in a shirt and tie just standing in the ditch on the side of the road. My car was still running and I wasn’t flagging anyone for help, so people probably thought I was just waiting until no traffic was coming so I could take an emergency ditch poop. Hahah!  Come on now, who hasn’t take a ditch poop? ;)

After a few minutes of just standing there and wondering for the 7,435th time what I was put on this earth to do, like that sun was feeding those flowers, I felt God speak to me The sun shining on these little flowers represented my passions, but nourishing those little flowers was definitely not the sole purpose of the sun. The sun brings light and life on a grand scale; those flowers are just attracted to it because it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. For so long, I was trying to find that one thing that would give me my purpose, but I was going about it completely backwards. God told me to quit worrying about focusing on finding those one or two things I was completely passionate about. I was focusing way too narrow. My passions start and flow from my purpose. For so long, I was trying to work up. I realized my purpose is first, that would lead down and overflow into all of the things I was interested in.  It was definitely an eye opening, life changing event (in a ditch, hahahah).  I didn’t get a revelation that morning about what my purpose was, but I felt like I knew how to find it.

So I started to pray and focus on my big picture, instead of individually focusing on all of the little. It was so similar to the last time I was looking for my purpose, except for this time I started to find it. I didn’t hear it immediately or over a couple of days, rather I would just start to encounter people or little situations that I felt drawn to. Sometimes I would find myself telling encouraging or funny stories or doing something small to help someone; however this time around I could feel something  growing in me. For the first time, I felt like I was becoming the real “Seth” that I had been looking for this entire time.  As I started really putting myself out there, I found I was so drawn to two specific things. So I focused on those two things and I felt my life just kind of click. “Encouragement and Helping” That’s my purpose. :) Those two simple concepts are what I was designed to do. It’s so funny to me, how I struggled for years with all of these intricate plans and methods trying to come up with this master plan, and I finally realize it’s all about those two simple words.

I love that God showed me those two simple little things for two reasons:

First, there’s no specific target audience. I don’t care where I am, there’s always someone that needs what I am put here to do. I do think that my purpose in life is pretty simple and I’m sure other people have way more complex  purposes; however, I don’t believe that anyone’s reason for being is important than anyone else’s. We were all created one of a kind and I feel that no one is more important to God than anyone else. But it’s nice being able to do what I feel I was meant to do wherever I am.

Second, I feel like my passions FINALLY make sense to me. I promise my entire life, I’ve always been so frustrated because I wanted to be extremely good or talented at something. I would see my friends who are incredibly athletic, intelligent, musically included, make you cry hilarious, had hobbies they absolutely loved to do, etc. I just never felt like I was super awesome or ultra-interested at one thing. Instead, I was semi-good and semi-interested in odd variety of things. I absolutely love the way God wired me know that I know my mission and purpose. Although, I might not be the best or even close to it at anyone specific thing, I believe God wired me to be able to relate with a broad audience of people because of my natural gifting of “being kinda good and moderately interested in at a lot of stuff”. Hahaha. If someone needs something or I can do something to encourage them, chances are I have enough random talents to make it work for just about anyone. I love knowing how God designed me to encourage and help by giving me these random passions and interests. If someone needs help with a birthday party, I can make balloon animals or design the invitation. If someone is sad, I can make them a little craft or piece of jewelry to brighten their day. Or if someone needs a laugh, I can sit down to make up a silly song or tell them a funny story about me accidentally taking a sip of pee in a Mountain Dew can one time.  

So now after all of this time, I don’t feel inferior for not having a specialty. Rather, I feel special not having just one. :) God uses my averageness to encourage and help. That makes me happy.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,


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