I really don’t get how a young 18 year old just entering college and heading off to experience the world for the first time can make a decision about what they want to be “when they grow up.” I guess there are some who have known since they were a kid that they wanted to be a doctor, or a pilot, or a businessman, or perhaps a clown.
A clown is what I told my mother I wanted to be when I was six years old. She wasn’t too pleased about my choice and quickly encouraged me to set my sights on more lofty professions…like being a teacher, or perhaps a secretary. I’ve been both in my lifetime but what I find great delight in is when I get to care for and serve others around me. For me it really has nothing to do with my profession – I can practice my purpose anywhere I am. I also tried being “the clown” for a period of time in life, but I quickly learned that what people love about clowns are the masks that they wear and not what’s underneath the mask.
When I went off to college I studied physical education and English, with the plan to be a PE teacher. God honored my plan in a different way that I imagined, and I joyfully enjoyed teaching PE in private Christian schools for 15 years. But had I known then what I know now about what my strengths were, plus overcoming my fears sooner, I might have chosen a different profession…such as being an architect, or a nurse, or even a writer. I have dabbled in some aspects of all those areas throughout my life and I think I could be good at any one of them. But I now know what God created me to be.
To know why you were put on this earth is an honor. To know one’s purpose and destiny, however big or small it might be, is freeing and life-changing. Recognizing mine didn’t come to me as early as I would have liked, and lining it up next to someone else’s purpose of saving people’s lives, putting out fires, or designing beautiful buildings may not make it look as important. But in my tiny little space in this world I have learned that my purpose is to glorify the One who created me by showing kindness, care and love to those He brings across my path by showing them grace on a daily basis. And maybe as I consistently do that it may play a tiny part in actually saving or improving someone’s life as they are drawn to grace and want to know more about it. I love spreading the word that grace isn’t as scary as you think. It’s a pretty simple purpose.
What’s your purpose? Is it simple like mine? Could it be that showing grace to others is harder than saving lives? What if offering grace to those who don’t deserve it plays a part in saving a life? Although giving grace to others can be pretty hard, I can tell you from experience…the grace shown to me saved my life. It can save and transform yours too.
Take it from a clown at heart.