Recently, I became business partners with a long-time friend and former student of mine, Cyrus. He exemplifies a young man whose passion is to pursue His God-given purpose. Just this year he took nine months and trekked across Central and South America for the simple purpose of learning about people. His stories are amazing and I look forward to hearing more of them. Cyrus recently spoke to a couple of groups, one an elementary class and the other a group of college students, this fall on the topic of pursuing one’s purpose. As he has shared some of his perspectives with me and has provided a real-life example of pursuing purpose, he has provoked more thoughts in me.
This, actually, is a topic I have wrestled with for years. I’m not sure if I will adequately explain my thoughts in this blog, and to realistic, I could probably write a book about it, but I am willing to give it a shot. As long as I can remember, I’ve always believed God has had a great purpose and plan for my life. Unfortunately, I could never lay hold of how to pursue it. As I lived my life, I seemed to always struggle with the balancing act of pursuing purpose and earning a paycheck. As much as I could, I would blend my passion for reaching people with a job but never found a job that was adequate. None of the jobs I ever worked at were far-reaching enough to fulfill the plan God put in my heart. I volunteered at my church and other ministries and coached various sports and went on three different mission trips all in the attempt to satisfy the passion I had (and still have) on the inside of me. Yet, all of that still fell short of realizing the magnitude of the vision in my heart. Something was still askew.
I vividly remember an argument I had with my wife. I was coaching an upper level high school soccer team and was gone for practice and games frequently. That coupled with our commitment to other volunteer opportunities created conflict. Courtnee wanted me home more often. I understood her perspective, but I also knew to effectively coach and help these young men reach their goals, I needed to devote a certain amount of time to them as well. I was very frustrated and literally cried out to God, “I don’t understand! You put it in my heart to do these things yet all it does is create conflict in my home and marriage which are also ordained by You! What am I doing wrong?”
There is a saying that conflict brings clarity. That conflict set me on a course for answers. I believe those answers were provided in the form of a business opportunity that oozes with wisdom (that alone is another topic and has been covered to a degree in former blogs). Someone finally showed me how to create an income stream that would free up future time that would normally be filled by a job so I could pursue God and His plans for my life.
What Cyrus has helped me to see more clearly is a very simple principle. It takes courage to pursue one’s dreams. Cyrus trekked across Central and South America without any financial support or a “guaranteed” income stream. He put His undivided trust in God and God worked on the hearts of people to provide for him whether he asked for help or not. It’s an incredible story. And what I have learned is that those who truly put their trust in God and passionately pursue their purpose, God will provide.
I wonder how many people who say they want to fulfill their God-given purpose have given up on that pursuit because they didn’t have the courage to do what God said to do. How many people would have the courage to get on a plane, fly to Nicaragua with only enough money to survive a few weeks, and then, not only survive a few weeks, but end up staying for nine months? How many people are willing to let go of a “good, secure” job to pursue a business opportunity to fulfill their purpose? How many people are willing to leave their “comfort zone” to pursue their dreams? Apparently, not very many.
It takes courage to pursue one’s purpose. It takes courage to go against the current. It takes courage to appear like a fool in the pursuit of an eternal cause. I love the saying, “People of integrity expect to be believed, and when they aren’t, they let time prove them right.” Develop the courage and internal fortitude to passionately pursue your God-given purpose. Don’t simply go with the flow. Seek counsel from someone who has already done what you want to do, and learn what they did to overcome the grip of mediocrity that is on the masses of people. There is a shortage of purpose-driven people on this planet. And in this country we are constantly bombarded with distractions that pull on us. We are a society that is recreating and entertaining itself to death – literally. Be a man or woman of courage. Courageously pursue your purpose. I can confidently say it is worth it!