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After career day in kindergarten a little girl came home all excited and told her mother that she wanted to be a nurse. Her mom went ballistic and said, "You don't have to be a nurse, this is America, you can be anything you want to be. You can be a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon – you can even be the director of the whole hospital." She was excited. "I can be anything, anything at all?" As she thought about it, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "I'll be a horse!"

You can't be anything you want to be, you can only be what God has designed you to be. God has designed everyone with a purpose. He designed an acorn to grow into an oak. Now the acorn can wish to be a maple instead of an oak. Maybe maples are prettier or more in demand. It can even map out a maple strategy. It can buy some possibility tapes and play them over and over – "It's a possibility, I can be a maple." It can even buy some positive thinking tapes – "You positively can be a maple." It might even get some subliminal tapes to play while the acorn sleeps. Or since an acorn grows underground, it could have subterrestrial subliminal tapes that play every night, "I'm a maple, I'm a maple." The acorn could even go New Age and channel up some 400-year guru to tell the acorn that in its other life it was a maple. It could get a crystal and sit cross-legged and contemplate the navel while humming and thinking positive maple thoughts. It could get in touch with the inner-child, maybe it was a maple. It could walk on fire and prove it's not afraid to be a maple. All of that can be done but when the acorn comes out of the ground, it's going to be an oak. It will be an insecure, dysfunctional, neurotic oak, but it will be an oak because that's what God designed it to be. That was its purpose.

The only thing you are qualified to be is yourself. You can't do it all, you can't get it all – where would you put it. The key to life is finding your purpose, what you are created to excel in. Have you ever seen an Olympic gymnastic gold medallist also take the gold medal in the shot put; or the mechanic at the auto shop who also moonlights as an oral surgeon? It doesn't happen. Everyone has a race he is created to run. Some run the 220; others excel in the marathon, while others do better in the sprints.

Purpose is the power in the engine of life. Purpose assures you that the steering wheel is connected to the engine. Without purpose there is no emotion to your motion. You will become like the funny cars at the circus. They are the cars with the axle off-center; therefore the cars just go around in circles. The clowns get on the funny cars, bouncing along, going in circles, and holding on for dear life. That's funny at the circus, but life without a purpose – going in circles, hanging on for dear life until you die, a lot of motion but no devotion – is not funny. There is a lot of activity but no accomplishment. Unfortunately that's the way life can become. Most of us plan our vacation better than we plan our lives.

Maybe it's time for us to determine what event we were created to excel in. A history teacher regularly told his class, "You can take this class one of two ways. You can take it seriously or take it over." We better take life seriously because we don't get to take it over.

Musically speaking the bottom line is B sharp, never B flat, and always B natural. Be natural for the purpose you were created. Knowing our purpose allows us to know the difference between distractions and opportunities. The question for us is, are we "running the race" that God designed us to run or are we just running?

    About the Author

  • Charles Lowery