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Realizing our purpose in God's possibilities


A common question we humans ask is “What is my purpose?” We wonder why we are alive on this earth. We search for meaning in our existence. Usually, this means we search for something that we should do to achieve our purpose.


Amos had a purpose. He was a caretaker. He took care of his sheep herd. He also took care of sycamore trees by puncturing the fruit of the trees (a sort of mulberry fig) to aid in the ripening process. God used his caretaking talents to become a prophet and shepherd of Israel.


Jesus’ twelve apostles’ purposes were based on their livelihoods, as well. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen; their purpose was to catch and sell fish. Simon the Zealot’s purpose was to fight for Israel’s independence from Roman rule. Matthew’s purpose was to use his gift of numbers to collect taxes. Jesus called them to use their talents for a greater purpose, to become fishers of people, to fight for God’s kingdom, to share the Word of God, to proclaim the Good News of God’s kingdom on earth.


God created each one of us for a purpose. God has gifted each person with talents to discover and use to live joyfully. As with Amos and the apostles, though, God’s desires for us exceed our desires for ourselves. God chose us “to be holy…for the praise of the glory of God’s grace…” We are “destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will…” (Ephesians 1:3-14) God has blessed each of us with specific talents to use not only for our own sakes, but also, and more importantly, for the glory of God and the purpose of the One who created us.


Like Amos and the apostles, God will use our talents for God’s purposes if we open our hearts to the possibilities of what God might be able to accomplish through us. We open our hearts to God’s possibilities through prayer and discernment. We consider God’s desires for us to live our purpose by asking questions, such as “What are my talents?” “What brings me joy?” “What is my state in life?” “How might I fulfill the duties of my state in life to proclaim the Good News and build up the kingdom of God?” Regular prayer, especially silence to listen for God’s voice, is important for opening our hearts to what God might desire for us. Conversations with others, such as in spiritual direction, also help us to discern how God might be calling us to use our talents.


May we open our hearts to God’s possibilities and accept God’s grace to grow in wisdom to realize our abilities and courage to open our hearts and lives to the potential of what God might work through us. We just might be surprised at how God might use us. May God’s will be done through us.

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