Did God design you to do just one thing? And how in the world do we figure out what we're designed to do? Maybe it's easier than we think. #Christian #selfcare #design #goals #purpose #Christianwalk #love

Did God design you to do just one thing? And how in the world do we figure out what we’re designed to do? Maybe it’s easier than we think.

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!

Did God design you to do just one thing? And how in the world do we figure out what we're designed to do? Maybe it's easier than we think. #Christian #selfcare #design #goals #purpose #Christianwalk #love

Senioritis Strikes Again

“I can’t wait until we can come back to school,” my student texted me this morning.

“Really?!” I texted back, just a little shocked that a student would miss school and want to return from an unexpected COVID-19 break.

“Yeah. I miss school.”

“Does that mean you want to keep going to school next year, after you graduate?” I texted.

“Yes. I want to keep going to school,” he replied. “I just don’t know what I want to study.”

It seems like every January my seniors start stressing over what happens next. Will they go to college? What about taking a gap year? How will they know what to study if they do decide to go to college?

When they ask me for advice, I pass on what a wise teacher told me and my classmates when we agonized over what to do after graduation. “You only have three big decisions to make in life,” he said. “Whether or not to serve God, how to serve God, and who to serve God with.”

I knew from my early teen years that I wanted to serve God. But how to serve him? Not so easy to figure out. I ended up getting a scholarship after college graduation to study bilingual-bicultural education.

Along the way I also fell in love and married—I discovered who I would serve God with. I started my first teaching job two weeks after our wedding, 32 years ago.

Did God Design us for Just One Purpose?

Although my teacher had the general idea right, we need to realize that God designed us for many purposes. And each purpose has a place and a time where he needs us to fulfill it the most.

As created, multi-faceted beings, we have multiple options available to us. We could do a plethora of things which will make God say, “Yes! She’s following my design for her!” and give a little fist-pump to the attending angels.

Sometimes, it takes a while to gain the experiences that prepare us for our sweet spot. The place where our talents, skills, and passions coincide. This happened with my husband, where cancer, job loss, and random jobs prepared him for his sweet-spot job. God had a purpose and design all along, but for many years we couldn’t see either.

I think the most important choice we can make is the first one—to serve God. He designed us for a purpose—to show his love to others—and we can do that whether we teach, or preach, or sweet floors, or blog, or stay at home with our kids, or sort beans. We don’t need a platform of thousands, we just need to keep on loving in Jesus’ name and living for an audience of One.

Did God design you to do just one thing? And how in the world do we figure out what we're designed to do? Maybe it's easier than we think. #Christian #selfcare #design #goals #purpose #Christianwalk #love

36 Comments

  1. Of COURSE God designed me for a purpose!

    “Hmmm,” said God, “now let Me see;
    I don’t have much to work with, here.
    He’s no good at humility
    but he’d sure excel at drinking beer.
    I really wish he’d stuck around
    while we were handing out the brains,
    but having one he would have found
    new ways to drive Me quite insane.
    He’s got some nice broad shoulders,
    and decent muscle tone,
    with fists the size of boulders
    biceps bigger than My own…
    we can offer him to rugby clubs,
    for healthy sport, and wrecking pubs.”
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…A Story Worth Telling?My Profile

  2. That teacher of yours was very wise indeed and I love this phrase – “We don’t need a platform of thousands, we just need to keep on loving in Jesus’ name and living for an audience of One”. I shall keep your words with me. Great post Anita.
    Wemi Omotosho recently posted…Created by DesignMy Profile

  3. What a great blog! You are right- we have many purposes. I think God’s purpose for everyone is to be born into God’s family and bring glory to God. And after that, we each have our own unique purposes. Um… could you read my blog? It is #9, the ugly one. It was supposed to have my photo on it but instead it has my ugly definitions of designed/ not very attractive, lol.

  4. yes! i love this: “it takes a while to gain the experiences that prepare us for our sweet spot.” because I still think I am trying to figure it out!! beautiful encouragement, Anita!

  5. I like the simplicity of this: “You only have three big decisions to make in life,” he said. “Whether or not to serve God, how to serve God, and who to serve God with.” If you get the first one right, then the second one is easier because he won’t leave you on your own. He is a loving Father. Of course the third piece includes many different people, but my wife is the most important piece of God’s design for us.

      1. I love this too, Anita. It’s funny that my hubby would be struck by the same thing as me in your post. I love that teacher’s advice too. It covers a lot of territory in the Christian life. Wayne and I have a granddaughter who is going to be a senior next year, so I will share this with her too. ~ Cindie, visiting from FMF #30
        Cindie Winquist recently posted…God’s Design in TrialsMy Profile

  6. I have discovered a gem of a book (well, more of a pamphlet with several appendices, including one of letters from Brother Lawrence) written about Brother Lawrence, a 17th-century Carmelite monk. His life in the monastery showcased exactly what you referred to, Anita. Each of us was designed for a purpose – to serve God in everything we do. Even – especially – the small things. I highly recommend this short read (available for free from Project Gutenberg) for anyone seeking to take their spiritual experience to the next level.
    “The most effective way Brother Lawrence had for communication with God was to simply do his ordinary work. He did this obediently, out of a pure love of God, purifying it as much as was humanly possible. He believed it was a serious mistake to think of our prayer time as being different from any other. our actions should unite us with God when we are involved in our daily activities, just as our prayers unite us with Him in our quiet devotions…We must…trust in God and surrender completely to Him. He will not deceive us. Never tire of doing even the smallest things for Him, because He isn’t impressed so much with the dimensions of our work as with the love in which it is done. We should not be discouraged if we fail in the beginning. This practice will eventually cause our efforts to become a pleasurable habit that we can do without thinking” (from The Practice of the Presence of God).

  7. Anita,
    Thank you for the sweet reminder that we DO things truly for an audience of One. God is happy that we serve with him in whatever ways he has for us in each stage of life. The purpose of our lives is to Love God and Love people. Wise words here! Jennifer, FMF #13

  8. Three big decisions: “Whether or not to serve God, how to serve God, and who to serve God with.” I like this. good summation. Then through that.. finding purpose.

    This week.. my encouragement… how I’ve been helpful to fellow bunny breeders. 🙂
    Annette recently posted…The Master’s DesignMy Profile

  9. Hi Ms. Anita!!! Awesome post. So first, I read the title and thought, “Why Yes He Did!” 🙂 Two things stand out for me – the advice you were given “Whether or not to serve God, how to serve God, and who to serve God with.” and remembering we have different purposes. I’m going to remember that quote. As for the second part, one of the things I often teach is there’s no reason to be confused about what your purpose is – it’s to serve. The question should be who and how based on our gifts and talents. Loved that you brought that out. Awesome!!!! If I may, I will share this one additional thing that I’ve heard and love (but still up for debate).. we can have a single purpose, but different assignments attached to it. (hmm?) FMF#37

  10. This ——> “We don’t need a platform of thousands, we just need to keep on loving in Jesus’ name and living for an audience of One.” Sometimes we think we need the audience because we are human and also need the affirmation. What a great reminder for me to focus on Jesus and to reflect him to my audience one by one.
    Deanna Kohlhofer recently posted…God’s DesignMy Profile

  11. Beautifully said…our singular purpose to love and follow God often weaves itself through a lifetime of varied paths. I love, though, how God uses every step along our path, though, to accomplish his will. The gift of age is being able to look back over your life and see how God used both success and failure to lead you to that next step of purpose. FMF#50
    Trisha recently posted…Five Minute Friday: Purposeful DesignMy Profile

  12. What a great post, Anita. I remember my Senior year of college freaking out about what did God want me to do? What was His will for my life? I must have read about 8 different books on how to decipher God’s will for my life. If only I had read your blog post about 20 years earlier 🙂 Our paths change as our experiences change. Some bad decisions we make will still be used for good in the future as long as we come back to our Father’s heart. You sound like a fabulous teacher. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
    Miccah

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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