Had lunch with Pastor Dan and really enjoyed our conversation about church and leadership and life. As I reflected on our conversation, there is one quality about him that really stands out. He is a very focused and strong question asker (if that is a word). That is a trait of a good leader. Seek information, opinions, ideas and understand others before speaking your own. It was very interesting when he shared the two words that God had been speaking to him about lately. One was exactly the same as a word in the set of three words that God has put on my heart – that being the word intentional. We need to live intentionally and on purpose. Far too many days go by with little or no intention in them at all. Life comes at us and passes us by without a response. We just go through the motions and let it happen. That should not be. We should be very specific in how we use our 168 hours each week, how we interact in each relationship we have, how we invest the resources God has entrusted to us, and how we live each moment. Shouldn’t we? Are you? I am not always that intentional. The meaning of intentional is “done on purpose”. That should describe our lives. We need to live on purpose and for a purpose. That means we need to have an identified purpose so we know how to live. It really is a key to being intentional. In fact, without a clear and concise purpose you really can’t be intentional.
Harvard Business Review had an interesting read from Clayton Christensen called “How Will You Measure Your Life?” He really makes some great points as he talks about three questions every person needs to answer:
1. How can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career?
2. How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness?
3. How can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?
These would not be the questions I might choose to measure life with, but Dr Christensen has some good thoughts around purpose. Remember that this is an instructor who teaches MBA students at Harvard Business School, not some religious institution. How refreshing that before these folks enter the business field which is all about making money and working hard – someone is challenging them to slow down and figure out what the metrics should be to measure life. He talks about many who have washed up in life. The reason he gives – “they didn’t keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, energy and talents”. Did you catch that? First, we need a clear purpose. Second, we need to live by it which means we have to CHOOSE (there is that pesky word again) to use our resources on the things that matter and fulfill our purpose. We have to be intentional about how we live. I love what he says about folks who are too busy right now to define their purpose. “If they think they’ll have more time and energy to reflect later, they’re nuts, because life only gets more demanding”. Have you experienced that? Life never gets slower and easier. It just goes faster and we run harder all the time. He goes on to say this about his life purpose: “It’s the single most useful thing I’ve ever learned”. I couldn’t agree more. Without it we live like a rudderless ship and float around unsure where we are trying to go. Life just goes by. “Without a purpose, life can become hollow”. The good news is that God has a very specific and personal purpose for your life. Find it! And do it sooner than later. It won’t get easier tomorrow. There is no magic bucket of unused time coming then either. Make it a priority and spend time with God and discover why He created you. He knows – He drew the blueprint for your life. He is the source of that info.
Tell us what this makes you think? Do you need help discovering your life purpose?