Blogging at Vision Christian Media, Melinda McCredie offered a delightful perspective on life purpose.
“The older we get, the more we realize that life is full of questions and uncertainties, and that can actually leave us wondering about our true purpose,” she wrote.
Who among us hasn’t doubted, at one point or another, whether we are on the right track? Yet, to fully understand our God-given purpose, we need to pursue a personal relationship with God.
“The only way any of us can truly discern the gentle whisper of God is to align our hearts with him,” Melinda wrote.
Does God want you sitting alone at your kitchen table watching endless YouTube videos and scrolling through hopeless news stories? Or, does he have an even greater purpose for your life at this stage?
At Forward From 50, we have been preaching that as the seasons of our lives change, so does our purpose. Typically, we follow this path to arrive at our destiny, or ultimate purpose:
- Pre-30s – Our purpose is to gain skills, start forming a network, begin working and start a family.
- Our 30s-50s – The “chaos years,” during which we gain experience, raise kids, fine-tune our natural talent and learn new skills, often to benefit ourselves.
- Post-50s – We discover our true purpose and start using our natural talent, learned skills and life experiences, both good and bad, to benefit others.
A nudge, not a lightning bolt
“When I was younger, I was convinced that there was one grand purpose that would fulfill me in every way! But I quickly realized that was not the case,” Melinda wrote. “Purpose for me has never come as a lightning bolt experience. It’s felt more like a gentle nudge from God throughout the different stages of my life.”
Yes, we were absolutely created for a specific purpose. Ephesians 2:10 tells us “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
That means as we go through life, we encounter people and situations for which we were specifically created to influence and change.
For Melinda, she always thought her purpose was to be a mother. She was right! But, only for a specific time until her kids grew up and didn’t need her as much.
That was certainly my experience, too. I was completely unprepared for the feelings of uselessness that were brought about by the empty nest.
“But redefining our purpose as the seasons change means using our unique gifts and talents to serve God wherever we find ourselves. It can be something as simple as being kind and compassionate to the people around us,” Melinda explained.
You aren’t the same person you were
I agree with Melinda in that we all tend to overthink our purpose. That’s because our purpose truly does change over time as the trajectory of our own lives change, too.
Here is the delightful aspect of Melinda’s blog post:
“Who I am now is almost unrecognizable from who I was 10 years ago, or even 20 years ago! A lot has changed,” she wrote. Amen!
If you told me at age 30 the purpose of my life would be to help people over 50 to discover their purpose, I would have scoffed. Yet, without going through the experiences I needed to endure to arrive at that date in 2021 when Forward From 50 was born, I would have been incapable of understanding the frustration older people have in wondering if their lives have any purpose.
“I have to keep reminding myself to embrace flexibility, because I don’t want to miss out on any unexpected opportunities God might put in front of me,” Melinda wrote. “To embrace that purpose, we need to constantly seek his will through prayer and step with confidence onto the path he has prepared for us.”
God will continue to stretch us every day of our lives. He molds us as we work to help mold others.
What has God put on your heart to do? Better yet, who has he put in your life for whom you can have an impact? Even a slight change in someone’s life by just a degree or two today can change where they wind up in 10, 20, 30 or 40 years from now.
You were created to be the deflection point that alters the trajectory of someone’s life!
Keep moving forward and trust God in the process.
After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.