Gifts, Purpose and Talents

>> Wednesday, February 10

When I was  21, I thought I had my life figured out. I had envisioned in my mind how life was to be for me and there was nothing or no one that was going to stop me from getting what I wanted. I wanted the corporate career; the McMansion house; the hot, power-player suit and tie, corporate husband; well-behaved and well-versed 2.5 kids and a dog to round out my life. I felt I needed all the above, in order to feel like I was accomplished and to fit in the urban professional crowd. I had a 5 year and 10 year plan with all the I's dotted and all the T's crossed.

As I began my career, I quickly began to feel disillusioned about what I thought was to be my purpose in my life. Don't misunderstand, there's nothing wrong with wanting and desiring these things, I just know now that those objects are not God's plan for me. I'm coming up on my 30th year and I'm trying to live a life that is more fulfilling and rewarding for me spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Some people, spend their whole lives trying to find their purpose/ talents and end up wasting time being stuck in a life that they never really wanted or are just working because someone told them that's what they should to do. I am very fortunate to know what my purpose and talents are and to know them at a young age. By nature, I'm a very philosophical and intellectual person so I'm always looking to explore, learn and understand the how's and why's of the universe. So, it's no wonder that I spend most of my time in retrospect.

My purpose and talents are not wrapped up in the degrees I may or may not possess, who my family is, what I do, the people I choose to associate with, the type of car I drive, the home I live in or the material objects I possess. My purpose and talents are the reflection of me, my authentic self, the self that when you strip away all of the labels and titles other people give me and all that is left is my bare and open spirit. 

We are never taught to be authentic or to find, hone and cultivate our purpose. We are only told to get an education, get a good job, start a family and just live life until you die. What kind of quality of life is this? Material objects, the rewards that we give to ourselves to feel important and to fit in and/ or compete with others feeds our hunger of never being satisfied. We continuously focus on the lives of others, by being jealous of what their 'living like it's golden' life appears to be instead of really seeing it for what it is. I may not have accomplished as much as some of my other counterparts at this age but who am I to look at them with jealousy and envy in my eyes. I don't know what their daily walk is like. I don't know how they may struggle daily to keep everything together because at any given moment or one false move, their world will come crashing down around them. I can only stay on my own path. My purpose and talent is in my heart to serve others and uplift the people around me. I strive for authenticity in everything I do and being authentic with everyone I come in contact with constantly. I'm human, so I do miss the mark often but it's not in the act of the mistake that I focus on but in the act that follows after I acknowledge the mistake and how I handle and recover from it. 

I get disgusted very often when people give me societies recipe for the perfect life that I should have or where they think I should be at this age. If I wanted to make society pie, please believe I'd be out in the orchard picking fresh apples and milling the wheat to make the flour myself, to create my most perfect society apple pie. I clearly understand that society is about  the almighty dollar and separating the 'haves' from the 'have nots'. Society is designed so that those who have can turn their nose up and their backs on those who don't. Society is designed to separate the masses by whether or not others find them valuable. Society is designed to keep the focus off of truly connecting with the spirit of our fellow men. When did we get to the point that we stopped being a community of supporters of one another and became individuals who turn a blind eye to those who don't fit our class station? So, forgive me if I give a nasty look to anyone who tells me what my role in society is to be and what I should be accomplishing so I can say that I'm a better than someone else.

I'm not living life to gain stuff that I can't take with me when I'm gone. I don't live my life so I can flaunt that I'm better than another. I don't live life so that I can swim in a pool of selfishness. I live my life so that I can pass on a legacy of wisdom and truth to those I leave behind so that they can in turn bestow it on the next person and create a ripple effect to inspire for generations. I want to live as God purposed me to be and not how the world tells me I should live. We have gotten so caught up in the world and what they tell us we should have; from how to dress, what and who to listen to, what to eat, what kind of car to drive, what kind of house to buy, etc. We don't even know who we are anymore. We have all become slaves to corporate advertising/ marketing, zombies to government and worshippers of the golden calfs, we call celebrities. When you don't know who you are it's hard to differentiate wants from actual needs. When you don't know who you are it's hard to see the real from the fake. 

I want to live a life that's real and genuine. I want to live a life that will not allow me to turn away from someone in need. I want to live a life that makes my family and friends proud of me not for the things I have acquired but for the lives of the people I touch and for the love I have in my heart. I may not have always do the right thing or make right the decisions but I have no regrets because everything, absolutely everything; every step and every tear has led me to this place right now. Since that time as a 21 year old girl, I've had experiences that I can't even begin to share but will never forget. This 29 year old woman's goals and wants have changed with the passing of time and growth in maturity. I'm so sorry Drake and Trey Songz, but your song 'Successful' is not the kind of success I want. I want a career, that allows me to be blessed to be a blessing; a home, filled with joy, peace and love; a husband, whose heart is my heart and looks at me with love in his eyes even when I'm at my worst; children, who are the center of my world who will love me in spite of me being a perfectly imperfect mom and whom I will love deeply even when they do things that are disappointing; and a dog to be a sweet companion (I still want the dog. You gotta have a dog!).

I just want to be an example of the life you can live when you allow God to take control and live a life where the spirit is free from conformity. My purpose and talents are in the people I come in contact with so that I can touch their lives to inspire those who I will never, ever see. I pray that God will continue to bless and use me for His glory and work to show that He is the reason I live and breathe.

Do They See Jesus In Me - Joy Williams


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