Edge of Purpose
Updated: Aug 2, 2021
The older I get the more clear I become to things that have always been complex. What's funny is this works in reverse. The older I get the things I thought were simple actually get more complex. There are those daunting questions that every person will at some point ask themselves. "Why am I here? What is my purpose? What should I be doing with my life? I have witnessed the most disturbed people go through a tragedy and find exactly what they feel they should be doing. I have also seen a person chose their career from primary school, then at 45 change their whole path due to not being fulfilled.
What is this? What is this common yet mysterious point we all cross on our journey. What is purpose?
At some point I managed to understand before we can figure out what our purpose is, we first have to understand what purpose is.
According to the American standard definition, the word purpose means: "the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. (Ex:The purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee)." (reference:oxford languages dictionary)
So purpose is the reason something exists. Purpose is the creation of something so that something can be created or done. To me that already puts a twist on things.
Let's deep dive into that for a minute. We can use a simple item, like a cup. A cup is an object used so that we can partake in the drinking of fluids to stay hydrated. According to Wikipedia,"cups were created in ancient Mesopotamia for a variety of purposes. They were created to include transportation and drinking of beverages". So the cup is a very special tool used to sustain life. The maker of the cup was purposed to make the cup, that however does not mean that is the maker's purpose. The purpose is being able to the sustain life through the consumption of water. Remember the example sentence? (Ex: The purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee) The purpose is not the meeting. The purpose is to appoint a trustee and the meeting is the need for that purpose.
So the cup is needed for the purpose of sustaining life through the consumption of liquids.
Now we bounce back to the original question. What is my purpose? Well before we can pinpoint an individual's reason for existence, we have to explore the reason for humanity as a whole. What is the reason for our existence? This is where my favorite thing comes into play, the Word of God.
Genesis 1:27; And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image , in the image of God created he Him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
So based on the beginning of time man was created for three basic purposes. Sustain. Dominate. Reproduce. Now I understand that these were the most primitive times. Through the years, decades, centuries, and ages, things have become much more elaborate than this. To make sense of it all let's evaluate this. The most technological advancement that you can think of is to either sustain, dominate or reproduce. The most advanced non- invasive surgery was created to sustain life and dominate after the procedure. With skill and practice eventually this procedure can be reproduced over and over again to save lives.
Truth is purpose is basic.
Now let's explore your purpose. Some theories are your purpose is your passion. Well based on the breakdown of purpose how is that so? Let's go back to the example sentence. Ex: "The purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee". Remember the purpose is not the meeting, the purpose is to appoint the trustee. So your purpose can't be your passion. However your passion can be the reason for purpose.
Here is the big reveal.... ARE YOU READY FOR THIS.......... What is purpose? How do I find my purpose? What is my purpose?
The answer is you can not calculate or control the outcome of purpose. Many of us are not trying to discover our purpose. The reality is we are trying to discover the outcome of our purpose. How many people will I effect with what I am called to do? How many lives will be changed? How much money can I obtain from my purpose. Your purpose is not an outcome. This is why our passions change so much. One minute we are writers, but we don't get enough clicks or views. We then switch to life coaching, but no one follows you. You then become a chef, pastor, astronaut, surgeon and the list goes on. Yet you never gain fulfillment because you are searching for an outcome instead of just sustaining, dominating and reproducing.
The purpose of the cup is to sustain life through the drinking of water. Nine times out of ten that south western Asian was not sitting and dreaming of all the people who would drink from their creation of a cup. They probably did not have a vision board of how many cups would go across the world. They didn't see their name in lights for the inventor of cups. I could imagine that they were trying to sustain life for them and their family. Dominate the most efficient way to access the most amount of liquid to stay hydrated and reproduce so those they loved could partake.
Now you may have dreams, goals and many aspirations in life. None of these things may equal your purpose. Why, because purpose can not be calculated. You can never go around and say this is how many people I have effected in the world through my cooking, blogging, music, etc.
Because the object is not the purpose. You may go to school for four years become a CEO and mentor a young child who will go out and produce thousands of successful people through a school they open. You being the CEO was not your purpose. You being in a position to teach the young child that would reproduce was the purpose. So you can not calculate purpose. Being in that position does not make you aware of what could happen, until it happened. There will be times that you may never know what happened. You may never know the outcome.
This concept brings me to a great movie I saw about 7 years ago, "Edge of Tomorrow". In the movie Tom Cruise was an agent that had to be trained to fight off aliens that had invaded the planet. No one was equipped enough to defeat these aliens. They were taking over. Tom Cruise became an experiment in aiding the defeat of these aliens. He had to go into a time warp to find out what would destroy them. It was one move he needed to make but he had to start each day over just like the last. He would take every step the exact way until at the end of the movie he found what could destroy the aliens. He went through each day over and over and over again exactly the same. His purpose was not that he was a soldier fighting for this cause. His purpose wasn't even that he was starting each day over like the last. His purpose was to find the remedy to destroy these aliens. Him being a soldier was the vehicle to the purpose.
This movie mirrors our everyday life to me. The only difference is sometimes our lives aren't set up like a movie. We won't always know the outcome or the reason why we are purposed to do a thing. What I do know is the sun rises and it sets the same exact way everyday to give a shot at purpose. Once purpose is fulfilled that is the fulfillment of life. So each day is a chance granted for sustaining, dominating and reproducing.
In my personal life I had four miscarriages. They were all very devastating but I have come to find one truth. Each one of those babies fulfilled their purpose in my womb. Looking back each baby came at a critical time in my life where I needed to make a change, slow down or see something differently. Humanly, I think it sucks that they didn't make it so I could see their cute little faces. Yet eternally, I truly believe they did their job. Purpose is beyond us. Purpose can't be calculated and it can't be controlled.
The greatest purpose you will ever fulfill in life is glorifying the maker through sustaining, dominating and reproducing what He has called you to do. He has called for all of us to look to Him, worship Him and serve Him. This is why he put us on the earth. The sustaining, dominating and reproducing is through Him and because of Him. It is what he has called us to. Life is the path that leads us there. The beauty of life is, you don't know the destination and probably never will. We are designed to go back to the one who made us, once we have fulfilled what He designed.
I believe that is when what your purpose produced will be revealed.