Lately I’ve been doing some “soul searching”, as they say.
Thinking about what it is that brings me joy and passion, and where I feel my life’s purpose is going to take me.
The following deep thoughts were spurred on one night as I was laying in bed; with the scent of lavender guiding me to dream land, I was contemplating how I’ve come to find truth in the power of aromatherapy, yet I question other things people find truth and healing in like crystals… then the thought of crystal reminded me of sand and being warm on a beach… which then reminded me how, in the past 12 months, I haven’t left the country. I’ve only left the province twice– once to get a package across the US border, once barely into Ontario to assist a friend with a wedding she was shooting. I realized it’s been so long since I’ve travelled I don’t even know where my passport it. I realized the stagnant life of not travelling, and not doing trips to help others, has been a drain on my life force. This is the longest length of time in the past 7 years I haven’t travelled with the purpose of humanitarian aid (my main reason for travel). Which leads to the obvious question…
“What am I doing with my life?!”
As a white girl in Canada, who bakes for a living and can afford a yoga membership, I have the ridiculously unfair privilege to contemplate such things. Ahh yes, the searching heart of the restless millennial.
My foundational purpose of always to try to be more Christ-like and show love to others, had also been found in the dedication to provide education and be an activist to see human trafficking come to an end. It was woven in the fibre of my being, and helping abroad enabled me to live that out in ways I loved. The passion of seeing the injustice of human trafficking come to an end, while still there on an internalized level of putting my preaching into action of making conscious consumer choices and knowing facts to share, isn’t as bold as it once was. It doesn’t fuel my life. It doesn’t leave me searching for more ways to help like it once did– especially when the romanticized notion of leaving to help across the world has become more of a daydream then something so easily tangible… oh, being an adult with work and other life commitments has it’s lacklustre moments.
Where does my passion now spark from?
At the root I can believe it is an encompassing ideal of wanting to inspire individuals to create, and encourage others to create, positive world change. But, c’mon, we all know I chose the word “encompassing” because it sounded fancier than broad– which can also be a fancy way of hiding the fact it’s currently a really huge grey area with no specific focus or goal.
God created each one of us uniquely so it matters what we do. It matters what we do and how we do it. It also matters if we live our unique lives to honour Him, or without giving Him a thought. The same goal attempted to be reached without God will land you in a different place than the same goal reached with God as a guide. Heck, with God as your guide, you’ll probably surpass your goal and end up somewhere so different and amazing you had no idea it was even possible.
So what do we do? If God made us unique, and gave us passions and personalities and characteristics and an immense joy in following him, what’s our next step?
As a society we’ve become so caught up in the ideal of passion and destination and purpose as a trifecta of perfection. When you reach that amazing point in your life, all your dreams will come true, you feel invincible, everything finally adds up, your heart and life are so full you can’t handle it! You shout with joy from the rooftops, live in a nice house, have a great car, go out to eat at fancy restaurants, and have overall ‘made it’. This often gets tied up along with the idea the trifecta of perfectness will be found in our career.
This is pretty inaccurate. If life has taught us anything, it’s that the best laid plans will fail, your dreams and goals change over time, and ‘working your way to the top’ doesn’t guarantee fulfillment when you arrive. We know this isn’t right– we’ve seen it fail time and time again. I guess the simple next step is “ask God”. He knows. Read your bible, read a devotion, talk to people about faith and listen to God in quiet moments of meditation (or as you’re trying to sleep with lavender softly filling the air around you). Even if you don’t get an answer right away, knowing the path you’re on is one of knowledge and honesty and grace is enough.
So, where does that leave us? If relentless faith and an endless desire for God is our main goal, what does the rest matter?
I wish I could tell you the concrete answers to these ‘soul searching’ questions. Honestly, I know God being our main focus and living a life rooted in love is a great place to start.
I may not know what’s next, and may not know where my passport is, but I know when I find it, the next time I use it will be for a purpose God has control over– and along the way to my destination I’ll be inspiring people to make a difference where they are at.