What were you born to do? - Carrie Roark
Somebody asked the question: How do you find out what you are born to do? It is a common question. But to answer it, I think it needs to be reframed. To ask what you are born to do seems limiting. Like, there is only one answer. There is a lot of pressure that goes along with this too. Because many people fear that they may miss it. What if there is one thing you are born to do, and you miss it? There are some assumptions that go with the question. Assumption 1: God has created each of us to do one thing. Assumption 2: I will only find true significance and satisfaction when I am doing that one thing. Assumption 3: It is hard to find.
Why WERE you born? If we look at it from a theological perspective, I’d say we are all born to serve and honor God. We are born to be in a relationship with him and help build his kingdom. I know. I know. That’s not really what you are asking. That is why we need to reframe the question.
Debunk Assumption 1: God created us to do one thing. I think that believing we were born for one thing is way too limiting for God. We live long lives, most of us anyway. I believe God expects, allows, creates us to do MANY things in the life he gives us. Leave it to our simplistic human brains to try to simplify life to one thing.
Debunk Assumption 2: I’ll only find satisfaction doing my one thing. Here is the underlying assumption: I’m not happy; how do I get happy? If I find my purpose, I’ll be happy. Actually, now that I think about it, it is kind of a cop out to wait for that “one thing” to come along. It absolves me of the responsibility for my own happiness. Man, if God would just hurry up and reveal my purpose, I’d do it….then I’d be happy.
Debunk Assumption 3: My one thing is hard to find. I need help. The underlying assumption here is: God makes my happiness elusive. No wonder we are so frustrated. God created us for a purpose but won’t show us what it is, and we can’t truly be happy until we find it.
Hogwash. I have an alternate theory. We were born for something...to live abundant lives, to walk in step with the Spirit, to make our lives matter. Yeah, but didn’t God create me with a unique purpose? Didn’t he gift me uniquely for a reason? Yes and yes. Let me explain. A term I like to use is my “unique assignment.” I heard this from a Bible teacher named Kelly Minter. God has given me a unique assignment. But the word unique means specific to ME; not the only thing FOR me. In fact, I believe he has given me many unique assignments. It is mine alone to mother Lakota and Asher. It is my assignment alone to love Bradley as his spouse. It is mine alone to write and teach the Bible studies God inspires in me. So on and so on.
God has created a life of abundance for me and you. Just think about it...God has created you to do many things. Some you’ve already done, some you are in the middle of, some are yet to be revealed….and some, if you are like me, are waiting for you to find the courage to step into but you’ve known for a long time.
Let’s reframe the question: Instead of asking, “What am I born to do?” Ask, “What do I WANT to do?” Also explore what lights you up and what gives you joy. I believe there is something you can do that will bring more significance and happiness to your life. But God isn’t hiding it from you. He’s waiting for you to come out of your comfort zone, push beyond your fear barrier, to grow, for heaven’s sake. Here are some tips to consider: 1. Follow your instincts more often. Your subconscious is trying to lead you somewhere cool. 2. Explore what you are curious about. This could be a clue. 3. Pay attention when you feel envy about things others are doing. Perhaps this is a marker. 4. Risk more often. The best things in life are on the other side of a risk. Or as John Maxwell says, “Everything worthwhile in life is uphill.” Do you have uphill dreams up downhill habits? 5. Try things and experiment. 6. Adopt a new abundance mindset instead of being held back by a scarcity mindset. 7. Stop trying to make it about how you make a living. Start as a hobby and see if it can lead to income. But save yourself the kind of pressure and stress that comes with that.
If you are feeling dissatisfied and restless, take notice. Your subconscious is sending you a message. I don’t know what that message is. It could simply be reminding you to choose gratitude instead of discontentment. Or it could be signaling you that you were meant for more...more...more. If you see or smell smoke, that’s fire. Find it and discover its meaning.
One more tip is to read a book called the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. It teaches an empowering concept that will show you HOW to follow each of the 7 tips above. Our brains are hardwired to block us from doing anything hard or uncomfortable. So when your instincts say to speak up in that business meeting, or get out of bed early (or even on time), your brain immediately goes to work using the power of your habits to talk you out of it. You won’t feel like doing these things. Stop waiting for that motivation. Simply count backwards 5...4...3...2...1...blast off and take action. This interrupts the habit loop and engages the frontal cortex of your brain. It propels you to action, which propels you to another, which propels you again.
The Bible tells a story about an amazing woman named Esther who married a king who had the power to destroy her people. He was about to, but she stepped up when she was told, “perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14.) Esther prevailed, and her people were saved. But it wasn’t the only thing Esther was born to do! No! She was positioned for a time LIKE that; not necessarily for that one specific time in history. God didn’t take her up into heaven after that because her task was done. I believe Esther lived on to do many great things assigned uniquely to her by God. And you will too.
I have known for many years what my unique assignment is. I have always wanted to be a writer, teacher, and public speaker. But I was held hostage by my fear. I allowed my fear to build a wall of excuses that I was really all too content to hide behind. I’m not a great writer. I’m undisciplined and lazy. I’m not that attractive. I’ll probably make a fool of myself, etc. But finally, after many months of personal growth and practicing abundance thinking, I found the courage to step into that dream. I told myself that I don’t know if I’ll be good at it, but it is what gives me the greatest joy. I offer up my passion, desires, and dreams before God and ask him to use me as he wishes. I’ll be hugely successful... or I won’t. But I think I will because I do not operate on my own competence. My competence comes from God. And last I checked, He’s pretty amazing. I think that makes me amazing too!
“Watch out world; here I come. And I’m bringing friends!”