Monday, February 25, 2019

How to Live Your Life Purpose: Surrender, Part Two

Have you ever wondered whether you are living up to your full potential, particularly as you straddle the doldrums of parenthood? If so, I invite you to join me in my newest series entitled, "How to Live Your Life Purpose." In the coming months, you'll discover how living your life purpose can be divided into six different movements or steps. Last month, I introduced the first step, which is longing. The second step is surrender, which I introduced last week. Subscribers to my website will get exclusive material from this series emailed to them, so be sure that you have subscribed here. Stay tuned for part three on surrender next week!

Surrender is a counter-intuitive step to living our life purpose given the nature of most self-help literature today. We want to do something; to make something happen. But the spiritual path differs from this perspective. Vocation and life coaching experts Robert and Kim Voyle write, “Your life is not something you own. You did not create it and it’s not for you to tell it, or God, what it should be. You may however gratefully and humbly awaken to your life, discover its purpose and manifest it in the world. In this your deepest longings will be fulfilled…” * To do so, we must tune into the voice within and to our Creator.

The Bible says that our Creator formed us with purpose and intention. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably seen hard proof of this. Children can express tendencies and personalities that are unique to them instead of cultivated by you. We can raise each of our children the same way, and yet they can turn out so differently. Psalm 139 confirms this by testifying that our Creator God is at work forming us with a plan before birth.



Christian author Parker Palmer realized this not as a parent, but as a grandfather. He marveled at the unique tendencies of his granddaughter from birth and decided to start recording them in the form of a letter. Parker had experienced depression in his own life before reconnecting with his purpose, and he didn’t want the same thing to happen to his granddaughter. In his book Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation, he explains, 
When my granddaughter reaches her late teens or early twenties, I will make sure that my letter finds its way to her, with a preface something like this: 'Here is a sketch of who you were from your earliest days in this world. It is not a definitive picture – only you can draw that. But it was sketched by a person who loves you very much. Perhaps these notes will help you do sooner something your grandfather did only later: remember who you were when you first arrived and reclaim the gift of true self.' *
Whether it’s a rediscovery or kind of evolution, the spiritual life requires the time to discern and surrender when it comes to living our purpose. *

* Robert and Kim Voyle, Yes 3! Participant Guide (Clergy Leadership Institute, 2006), 32.
* Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation (San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2000), 12.
* Note: This material is an excerpt from my article for iBelieve.com, "How to Know Your Life Purpose" (April 13, 2017), and is reprinted here with permission.

Questions to think about this week: What are some of your earliest memories of things that you have enjoyed doing in your life? What persistent personality traits have you expressed? How well do those observations marry with what you do now?

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