I have spent most of my adult life struggling constantly, daily, with the question: “What am I supposed to do with my life?” There is something universal about this struggle. We all long for purpose, for meaning. We all long to do something, to be a part of something, to give a part of ourselves to something that matters. I believe that we are all born with this question on our hearts, we are hard-wired in a sense, to spend our lives answering this question. The only problem is, most of us, myself included, are going about the answer in all the wrong ways.
We’ve all heard the saying “It’s like trying to put a square peg into a round hole.” Tying to find our purpose in life, that thing that will fulfill us, make us whole, bring us lasting joy and peace, is a lot like that round hole. And money, education, careers, houses, wardrobes, titles, cars, achievements, relationships are a lot like those square pegs. It just doesn’t quite fit. More often than not, it sure feels good, feels so right at the time, but slowly it fades and the question remains. That hole only has one shape, and only one thing will fit there. It is a God-shaped hole. Meant only for God.
So the secret to life is this: we were made to have a relationship with God. To know God. Personally. Intimately. Completely. Utterly. This is your purpose, my purpose. Everything else flows from this. Everything else was made for this.
How do we come to know God? Is it fair to say that many of us know of Him, that we are acquainted with Him. Certainly going to Church on Sundays is a wonderful start. But how many marriages do you think would last if the husband and wife only spent one hour a week together? Relationships take time, openness, sacrifice, conversation, honesty, trust, attention. Our relationship with God is no exception! To truly know God we must let Him in and include Him in every nook and cranny of our life. Especially the deep and dark and hurtful places. We must turn to Him and share with Him not just in times of struggle and uncertainty, but in times of ease and clarity. To truly know Him we must seek to know His word and His promise, to hear His voice and feel His presence.
We do not need to abandon our current lives and spend the rest of our time in a monastery in order to have a deep and intimate relationship with God. We can be with Him, talk to Him, get to know Him right where we are. Doing dishes. Folding clothes. Driving in traffic. During dinnertime with the family. God simply wants to be with us. Do you want to be with Him? This is what we were made for. To be loved by Him. And to love Him. When we live a life centered on this pursuit, all the other questions will be answered.