The Missing Link
What will you do with your day today? How will you live into your purpose today?
I was at a prayer meeting a few weeks ago with a friend and she introduced me to someone there. When they asked me what I do, I answered briefly (as is my nature to do) “I am a motivational speaker, leadership coach, and author.” My friend elaborated, “She is in the full time ministry!”
I started to object. I claim several hats for myself: Christian, Wife, Speaker, Author, Coach, Leadership Trainer, Group Fitness instructor, and so on, but I’ve never claimed “Minister” as one of them. I’ve never thought of myself as “Called to the Ministry” and, given my conservative early church upbringing where I was taught that women should be silent in the church, it almost feels wrong somehow. Please note – I am NOT here to dispute or even comment on religious beliefs about women as ministers. My point here is that I would never have said to someone “I’m in the ministry.”
There is also a little feeling of unworthiness that contributes to my discomfort with that idea. I can’t help but feel, that certainly God can find someone much better to “minister” to others than me. If God was going to call someone to “minister”, He would certainly wouldn’t call someone like me, with so much sin in the past, to serve. You see, I’ve got this ideal woman in my head and I know that I haven’t always lived up to the ideal. In fact, I still don’t always live up to the ideal. Then too, I sometimes feel a burden of responsibility – if God has called me for a purpose, then I must honor that, even when I don’t want to sometimes. More on that in a future blog, I think.
This concept of being “in the ministry” kept tugging at me so I looked up the definition of “minister” on Dictionary.com:
When you consider how God equips us in different ways, it really makes sense that we are ALL in the ministry in some way. We don’t have to “be a minister” to be in the ministry. We are all tasked with a purpose to contribute in some way. Indeed, when we are living out our calling and following our purpose, when we are using our gifts, time, talents and energy to fulfill that purpose, we are “ministering” or contributing.
I’ve been reading “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. I feel like I have a very purposeful and intentional life already, but I’m not where I want to be yet and we should always be constantly learning, growing, and seeking to get better. It’s the kind of book I really needed to read about 15 years ago. Better late than never, right?
On day 30, he uses the acrostic “SHAPE” to describe how we are uniquely designed to serve God in different ways: S – Spiritual Gifts; H – Heart; A – Abilities; P – Personality; and E – Experience. What I love about this is the fact that it points out how each and every one of us are created to serve and to contribute in some way. THAT is our purpose. HOW we do it can be as different and unique as we are because we all have a different “SHAPE.”
My SHAPE is different than your SHAPE. In spite of the fact that sometimes I feel like my past experiences are the very thing that disqualifies me from helping others, it’s actually one of the tools God equipped me with.
I believe that was the missing link in my life five years ago. It wasn’t a bad life at all. In 2011, I had a great life, a good job, a decent paycheck, a good house, a nice car, the occasional vacation, but I wasn’t living in my purpose. I didn’t have the sense of fulfillment and completion that I have today. I didn’t have the peace that I know today, that if God calls me home tonight, I have served well. I don’t wake up each morning asking myself, “Is this all there is?”
Discovering your purpose and your “SHAPE” is a process. Each of us live through the process of discovery. As a coach, my purpose is helping you discover yours.
Ria is a motivational speaker and certified leadership coach with a passion for helping others make the right choices today to reach their goals tomorrow. Visit her website, www.riastory.com or Contact Ria for information on success coaching or motivational speaking. To sign up for Ria’s complimentary leadership training series, CLICK HERE.