Today’s world can be confusing. Young people are told that they should have a college degree and they study the “list” of degree programs, trying to navigate their options. What is their purpose?
In Israel, there was one family who had a special purpose. The Levites were the priests. They ministered to the Lord and helped the nation stay in step with God. Yet, even then, they had different specialties. When David brought the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem and provided it with a tabernacle (1 Chronicles 17), he appointed musicians to minister to God. There were the priests who carried the ark, but there were also trumpet blowers, harp players, cymbal crashers, and singers. They not only played music when there were assemblies like we have in our church buildings, but they also played for the Lord when no one else was around. (No wonder music is so often a point of contention for churches. If it’s important to God, the enemy hates it.)
There was one man, named Kenaniah, who was put in charge of the singing. Call him the choir master. Wow. What did he do to get that job? Did David send him to school? No. He didn’t even have to whip out his credentials because everyone already knew. Verse 22 says that it was his responsibility “because he was skillful at it.”
Stop right there.
Some people study and train and never quite master a thing because they aren’t gifted for it. Other things just come naturally… without much effort. It sounds like Kenaniah was gifted. And he knew his purpose was to praise God. His life was devoted to service.
So I think that a lot of times we make career paths and qualifications too complicated. Sometimes we put things backward. We tell young people that they need an education and we give them so much busy work to do that they don’t get to practice service. They are trying to get a degree so that they can get a good job, and then they will feel like their lives have purpose. But that is not how we were designed. God designed us with a purpose–to serve and glorify Him. He also designed us with giftings–things we are skilled at–so that we will have a way to serve, and consequently, be able to enjoy doing it.
Of course, our natural giftings need practice and training to become mature. That is a life-long journey. Even our spiritual gifts, though super-natural, require practice to fine tune. It’s true, but I would just love to see parents and teachers spot children’s natural giftings AND spiritual gifts, encourage them that their purpose is to glorify God, give them opportunities to serve using those abilities, and just watch them grow. As my young people say, “It’s so satisfying!”
You have talents to use. What are you good at? What do you enjoy? How can you use what you enjoy to serve (loving God and loving others)??
Some of us are “worker bees,” finding the areas that no one else is taking care of and trying to fix everything. That will burn you out. Believe me, I have been there. I learned that just because I can doesn’t mean I should. I can do jobs I know how to do, but if they aren’t what I am naturally good at, I get worn out and I’m not as successful as I want to be. I’m not even as successful as I should be, and I think that is God, reigning me in and saying, “Hey, don’t you trust me to provide for this area? I have gifted someone else to do this and if you are doing it, they will never step up and learn the joy of being who I created them to be!” God made actual worker bees specialized.
Then there are those who appear lazy. They don’t want to do anything. Maybe they are, but sometimes they have lost track of what they love.
Look how many young people change their majors, often multiple times, before they finish college. Look how many earn a degree and never use it. And have you noticed how many times adults change careers? Are they doing something that they find “satisfying”?
When I learned to step back and be honest with myself about what I enjoyed…
When I became honest about what I want to do and really don’t want to do…
God began bringing me new opportunities, challenging me more about my dreams, telling me to step outside the box, and giving me successes that I could have never thought up. I started learning and accomplishing things that I thought were just for other people, because I was finally paying attention to what I was naturally good at (even though it was uncomfortable at first).
And this is starting to sound like an infomercial, but I’m not selling you anything. I just want to remind you that God made you good at something, and that is a clue as to what you will enjoy and be successful in doing, especially if you are doing it for HIM. Because living for HIM is your purpose. No more looking for yourself… you found you!! You were made for God.
I found this fun song that goes with the message. The kids love it, so if you have children around you may have to drop everything and dance with yours for awhile! Remind them that they made God happy!