If Your Life Mission is Unclear: Don’t Get Stuck
Do you ever ask yourself, “What is my life mission?” As a leader who ascribes to the Christian faith, this question tugs at me often. As the son of an evangelical pastor, I saw first hand the man closest to me, my dad, live a life wholly devoted to spiritual pursuits and furthering the Kingdom. So, living in the shadow of his life, I find myself asking the same question.
As I faced the New Year with greater challenges coming my way, as well as my 44th birthday on January 3rd, I asked in my time of prayer, “God, what is my life mission?” I almost immediately felt this thought come to mind: “Focus on your current mission. Don’t worry about your life mission. I may or may not give you one big life mission. Be faithful with what I put before you.”
That’s a message I needed to hear. It resonated with me. I want to share it with you because I believe many leaders who desire to live in God’s will get stuck when we don’t have a clear definition of our life mission.
What is a life mission anyway?
Who said that for a life a well lived, we must accomplish one single big mission? What if there should be two big missions or 200 small ones?
A popular theme in the world of successful living is the idea that we each have one purpose in life. Rick Warren sold millions of books entitled The Purpose Driven Life. Years ago, I even argued in this article, What Is Your Life Purpose?, that the most impactful leaders each had one great work that summarized their lives. While this is true, there is another perspective we must be aware of.
What do we do if our life mission is unclear?
When a big life mission is unclear, we must not feel aimless. It is normal not to always know the big things you are to accomplish in life. It is also okay not to have a big mission to accomplish at all. While we must not miss an important assignment in life, if we are supposed to have one, we must live our life aiming to succeed at our current goals and visions.
For those with a Christian background, it is clear from the Holy Bible that our ultimate purpose in life is to love God and love others (the greatest commandment according to Jesus), and then to serve the Kingdom of God on earth (the Great Commission in Matthew). For anything that falls outside of these categories, I would question their eternal value.
Focus on Your Current Mission
I recently went on a medical mission trip to Africa. Since then I have been tasked with helping to bring medical imaging to the African hospital. This is not going to be easy. While I wouldn’t consider it a life mission kind of project, it is definitely a worthy project at which I must succeed. As I spent time in reflection and prayer, the next thought I had regarding focusing on the current mission was, “your current mission is to help with the imaging project. Be faithful in that.”
Since then, another mission came on the scene for me, one that would require me to help with our local congregation. Again, I don’t consider this one to be a life mission kind of a project either. But both projects are important. And both are missions I feel called to do. These are my current missions, and they are the ones I will focus on with passion.
As you lead if you are a big dreamer and thinker like me, you may occasionally fumble around with the same question I asked. “Lord, I am busy, but I am unclear whether I am fulfilling my big life mission.” I hope you find solace in the same answer I received, “Child, focus on your current mission. Don’t worry about your life mission. I may or may not give you one big life mission. Be faithful with what I put before you.”