A week ago I preached at a church downtown for their local youth group. I spoke on Finding your Purpose. To do this, I read them a story and then followed up with some small group questions and prayer time. I would like to take the opportunity to share with you, what I shared with them.
Here it is:
I want to tell you a story. A story of five people who had a lot of bad luck. The story begins with these five people sitting around a table at a mandatory group counseling session as part of their welfare requirements.
Stacey was in her last year of law school when she had her son, Keith. Keith wasn’t exactly planned, and Stacey was forced to drop out of school so she could take care of him. Years later, she would love to go back to school to finish her last year. She even got special funding from the government to pay for tuition! The problem arises however, that she simply did not have enough money to pay for daycare for her son, leaving her unable to go back to school.
Katie completed business school two years ago. She started her own business right out of school, investing all of her money and time into her very own restaurant. She did well for the first six months, until a bigger chain restaurant opened across the street. Her business went belly up, and Katie is now bankrupt.
Tom has worked the last twenty years as a building contractor. He loves building and fixing things… In fact, he would say it’s his life. This fall, the company he worked for had to lay off 500 people. Tom was one of those individuals. Having not finishing High School, he is having a hard time finding a new job that he is qualified for.
Joanne was in a car accident in her early thirty’s, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. She will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Despite her attempts to find a job, most places won’t hire her, and she cannot physically work full-time due to her injuries. Her house which was once her pride and joy, is now falling apart and is in despite need of some repairs.
Shaun once had a loving family… Wife and two kids. They married right out of high school and started young. They were in love. Or so they thought. Shaun’s wife has decided she wants a divorce because Hockey was more important to Shaun then She was. What could have been a simple agreement has become a very messy divorce that Shaun simply cannot afford.
And lastly, Meet Stephanie.
Stephanie is the counselor, and leader of this group. Stephanie used to be where each of these individuals sat. But with determination, hope, and a lot of prayer, she has overcome her situation.
The Story Begins….
Stephanie clears her throat to get everyone’s attention, and calls the meeting to order. Before she can even finish welcoming everyone to the first meeting, she is interrupted by Joanne.
“I don’t see why we need to be here. How is this going to help us?” Joanne frowns and looks back down to her knitting.
“I agree!” Tom scowls. “I could be at home watching the game right now… Tell me, what is the point of this meeting anyways?”
Stephanie smiles. These questions always seem to arise the first meeting. “I understand your frustration.” She says. “I was in your shoes, not too long ago. But if you can put a little bit of trust into me, and give me a chance, I am sure you will reap the rewards.”
The group quiets down, except for a few sighs.
“Today I want to talk to you about your purpose. Why are you here?” Stephanie asks.
“I don’t know! That’s what you’re supposed to be tellin’ us!” Shaun says, clearly agitated.
“Not here as in, this meeting.” Stephanie corrects herself. “I mean, Why are you here… on this earth? What is your purpose in life?”
The group becomes very quiet and appears to pondering the question.
“I always thought my purpose was to finish law school so I could help people” Stacey whispers. “But with Keith, that’s just not possible anymore.”
“Why not?” Katie asks genuinely.
“I cannot afford daycare, so I can’t go back to school.” Stacey admits defeated, biting her lip.
“I always wanted kids” Katie says to herself as she looks down at her hands.
The group goes silent again.
Stephanie looks at the group and has an idea. “Joanne! You’re really good a knitting things, right?”
Joanne nods, slightly confused.
“And Katie, you went to business school right? Could you help Joanne start up a small business to sell her knitting creations?”
Katie’s eyes light up for the first time since her business went under. “I think I can do that!” She says excitedly. “In fact, maybe I could start my very own childcare service! That way you can go back to school Stacey!”
Tom speaks up… “If anyone needs repairs done to their houses, I can do that!”
Stephanie grins, now the group is getting it.
Stephanie leans back in her chair, watching as the group discusses.
“Shaun, if you need help with your divorce… I might be able to help with some of the legal issues!” Stacey offers.
Shaun starts to smile, “You have a son right?” he asks Stacey. “Any chance he wants to learn to play hockey?”
“He would love that!”
“If you need childcare, I can provide that, Shaun!” Katie speaks up.
“I have a window that needs fixing…” Stacey mentions.
“I can fix it tomorrow if that works for you?” Tom offers.
“That’ll be great! Thanks!” Stacey says happily.
A year later, these five individuals are running groups of their own. They are successful in what they do. Stacey is now a lawyer. Katie runs her own childcare service, and Joanne’s business is still growing! Tom now does repairs for people who may not have as much money. Shaun’s divorce went through, but his wife and him have decided to stay friends. Shaun still plays hockey every weekend, but every Saturday morning, he’s coaching a group of young boys how to play hockey.
The moral of the story? We all have talents. We all have things we are good at. The purpose that God has for you, will often times include the things you are good at or you enjoy. It might not be in the same capacity that you expected. I know mine isn’t. But with a little hope, some trust and a lot of prayer, I believe that you can find your purpose. And once you’ve found it…… Be sure to fulfill it.
Ask yourself the following questions. Answer them in the comments below!
- What are some things you are good at?
- What are some things you enjoy?
- How do you think you can use these things you are good at and enjoy to honour God and fulfill your purpose?
- Do you think you know what your purpose is?
Pray for those who know their purpose. Pray for encouragement for yourself and others. Pray that God will lead you and show you what your purpose is.