Once we know our purpose in life we won’t be so easily sidetracked. When something comes our way that doesn’t serve our purpose, it will be easily recognized for what it is: a distraction to be avoided.
This very thing happened to me when a friend of mine asked me to represent the home-school community on an advisory committee the mayor was developing in our city. Since I had home schooled my daughter for years, this appointment seemed to be a logical match.
Although I was extremely honored to be asked, I immediately realized that this responsibility didn’t have anything to do with what God has called me to do. Home schooling helped me do what I was called to do, not the other way around. I thanked my friend for the offer, but I explained that it wasn’t what I was supposed to do. If I had agreed to fill that position, my decision would have taken away from what God intended for someone else.
People who know their purpose aren’t easily detoured. A detour in life can be very costly, taking us the long way to reach our destination or, even worse, causing us to miss our destination altogether.
The path of the purposeful is clearly defined and carefully charted. Every detail might not be known, but the direction is clear.
It was an eleven-day journey from Mount Sinai to where the children of Israel were going but because of their unbelief and rebellion, it took them forty years to reach their destination. Wouldn’t it be horrible to realize that we had caused a forty-year delay in reaching our destination?
People who know their purpose in life aren’t easily offended or hurt by others. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (KJV).
When God’s ways are first and foremost in our lives, we refuse to allow the actions or words of other people to hurt or offend us. Because our eyes are fixed on our destination and the prize that awaits us, people may say or do unkind things to us but we refuse to be offended. We are immune to their attacks because our hearts are fixed on the prize.
The Apostle Paul was a man who knew what God had called him to do with his life. He kept himself on track by focusing his energy on one thing: Forgetting the past (whether successes or failures) and looking forward to what was ahead as he strained to reach the end of his race and receive his eternal prize (see Philippians 3:13,14).
This is exactly what is required of each one of us if we want to be winners in life. We can’t change the past, so we might as well let it go and get on with the future! It is vitally important that we look ahead to what God has for us and put all our efforts and energy into fulfilling His purpose for our lives.