Purpose Comes Looking for You
I received more feedback from last week’s Memo than any other I have written. I urge you to read the Memos from the last two weeks, for this week we continue our purpose profiles of Esther and Mordecai. The point I want to make this week is that Esther and Mordecai didn’t have to look for their purpose; their purpose came looking for them.
Then the king’s personal attendants proposed,
“Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful girls into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. Then let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.”
– (Esther 2:2-4).
This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it
Esther was found and chosen to be among those women, and was eventually selected by the king to be the new queen. Last week we saw that Mordecai foiled a plot to assassinate the king and was then sought out and rewarded for his work. Both didn’t go looking for purpose; their purpose came looking for them.
As you examine your purpose this week, ask yourself: What always finds me that needs done? What group or kind of people always seem to seek me out for counsel, encouragement or help? If you can answer those questions, you are well on your way to clarifying your purpose. One thing that regularly happens to me, no matter where I am in the world, is that people ask me for directions—an expression of my purpose to create order out of chaos. I mentioned that fact last week in a church service, and the next day someone jokingly asked me if anyone had asked me for directions yet. I responded no one had, but that the day was still young.
A few hours later, I was on a train heading to Heathrow Airport. As the train slowed down for the first stop, I man came up to me and asked, “Do you know from which terminal the British Air flight to New York departs?” Guess what? I knew it was terminal four! I can create order out of chaos. I never have to looking for ‘chaos,’ it always comes looking for me. Of course, I then misread my own itinerary and jumped off at the wrong stop for my plane! I never said you would fulfill your purpose perfectly; I simply stated that the fulfillment of your purpose will always find you.
Purpose puts you in the right place at the right time. When you function in your purpose, there is a sense that God is helping you accomplish what you are doing, without effort or you having to make something happen. When someone needs directions, I just happen to come along and for whatever reason they choose me out of the crowd to ask where to go. I couldn’t plan that if I wanted to. It is a small way in which I know that God uses me to help others and it flows naturally. It is part of my purpose to create order out of chaos.
So ask yourself: When am I in “the flow?” When do I most seem to be in the right place at the right time? What need or needs do I always seem to be in a position to meet? Answers to those questions will most certainly help you clarify your purpose.
So what purpose lessons have we learned from Esther and Mordecai these last three weeks?
- Your past doesn’t prevent you from fulfilling your purpose, unless you allow it to do so.
- You may be taking for granted or looking past a purpose that is obvious to everyone but you.
- God wants to build on your strengths and not your weaknesses.
- God hasn’t forgotten you.
- You don’t have to go looking for purpose; purpose comes looking for you.
- Purpose puts you in the right place at the right time.
- It requires faith to find and fulfill your purpose.
So there you have it. We have completed our second purpose profile (Samson was the first). This week, I want you to mediate on the seven points I have listed above. Pray over them and ask God to show you what you’re missing. Don’t just pray, but pray in faith with pen and paper in hand, believing that the Lord will show you some new perspective that you need to be a person of purpose. And as usual, if I can help you in any way, please let me know. Have a great week!
John Stanko was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Duquesne University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics in 1972 and 1974 respectively.
Since then, John has served as an administrator, teacher, consultant, author, and pastor in his professional career. He holds a second master’s degree in pastoral ministries, and earned his Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh in 2011.
John founded a personal and leadership development company, called PurposeQuest, in 2001 and today travels the world to speak, consult and inspire leaders and people everywhere. From 2001-2008, he spent six months a year in Africa and still enjoys visiting and working on that continent, while teaching for Geneva College’s Masters of Organizational Leadership and the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most recently, John founded Urban Press, a publishing service designed to tell stories of the city, from the city and to the city.