I had been an office wage slave for the past seven years. The field of work in which I somehow found myself wasn’t meaningless, it was even worthy, assuming one actually wanted to be there and hadn’t somehow drifted into it due to lack of alternative options.
I have always struggled with aimlessness, and although I knew that whatever I did I should work at heartily, as though for the Lord and not for men, I often found myself struggling to do my best in work that felt like it diminished me rather than brought me to life. I have dragged myself out of bed in the morning and often spent what should be my most productive hours marking time. During office hours I once slept under a desk, and spent an afternoon taking five different online quizzes to establish which Hogwarts House I would be sorted into (Ravenclaw). I tried reading ‘The Purpose Driven Life’, and didn’t even have the purpose or drive to finish the book. It’s still sat half read on my bookshelf.
I was sure God had made me to be more than this. I wanted to be living a life that honoured the Lord and who he’d created me to be.
But what would it mean to live life with purpose?
So it was that I found myself walking through the slick, cobbled streets of Covent Garden one wet windy morning, sucking up the caffeine from a latte, as I made my way to the Living Life with Purpose course.
Several aspects of the content weren’t what I initially expected. I wanted someone (preferably God) to tell me what to do with my life (preferably clearly). An audible voice emanating from a burning bush would have been ideal. Instead, we worked through several exercises, listened to what scripture said on the matter, and prayed. I had to reflect myself on what I already knew and had to learn to trust the still small voice. I asked myself some questions and had to learn to have courage to act on the answers in faith.
Emphasis was placed on the general plans that God has for all of us: to love Him, to know Him and to love others. Which kind of irritated me at first: “Hang on a minute! I’m here to find out what to do with my life, this should be about me! I don’t have time to focus on all that “love your neighbour” stuff, I already know that”.
If you’ve guessed that it turned out to really helpful, then you’ve been paying attention. Once I’d got my priorities in the right order – incorporating my own desires into the larger purpose God had for my life and accepting that He was more interested in my character than my achievements – it took the pressure off desperately trying to puzzle out the answers and being paralysed with indecision in case I made a mistake. Once I relaxed with regards to my own ambitions the right path revealed itself. Or, as someone once said: Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.
The process is slow and the work has only just begun. At time of writing I still earn a living in that office and am not yet living an Instagram-worthy dream life, but as a result of the course I’m currently applying for my Masters in Illustration and prioritise spending my time on the things that I love and bring me alive. I’ve had to cut down on Netflix a bit, but it’s worth it to be able to get up in the morning with a sense of joy and purpose.
If you’re wondering what your purpose is in life and who God made you to be I would encourage you, if you’re unsure, to give the course a try. At the very least you will meet nice people, eat some free sandwiches, and get friends to tell you all the good stuff about yourself! At the very best, it could transform your life. Autumn is a season of change so why not start now, and who knows what growth He will bring with the spring?
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”. Jeremiah 29:11
Our next Living Life With Purpose course takes place on Saturday 4th and Saturday 25th November. You can sign up here.