I’ll bet you feel like you are in “The Land Between”.
That phrase is the idea behind Jeff Manion’s book of the same title. It is so evocative. You are neither where you were nor where you are going. It describes my current life well. After 42 years of doing the same thing…pastoring churches in the Midwest and New England…I stepped away to launch a new life. Why did I not think more deeply about how upending it would be? This wilderness between what was and what will be is rough.
No doubt you have felt or are feeling such disorientation yourself. Shoot, we all are dealing with it in this pandemic desert. I’m not sure the life we lived pre-COVID will be the life we will be returning to.
All that said, in this fog there has been a light, a north star, shining ahead of me. It has kept me oriented and hopeful. And it has quelled the anxiety enough to get me unstuck.
This fixed point of my life is my clear sense of purpose, my sense of calling. I know why I am here. And I believe it will be my guide through these uncharted territories. If you are curious as to what I perceive to be my purpose, just take a few moments and browse my website.
Knowing your purpose or calling is super important for a number of reasons. Let me give you 6 of those reasons.
- Knowing your purpose helps you navigate transitions in your life.
I’m restating here how calling guides you through “The Land Between”. Knowing your purpose gives you something to hold on to when all feels vague and cloudy. It is one sure thing when your world feels so ambiguous.
- Knowing your purpose gives you enough wins to keep you going.
When you do that thing you were designed to do…when you respond to the summons on your life…you will experience great success. Why? Your calling is the sweet spot of your capabilities. Functioning in your purpose marshals your skills, personality, gifting and life learnings to bring help and healing to others and the world. You practically cannot fail when you live out your purpose.
- Knowing your purpose gets you up in the morning with a sense of anticipation.
To my previous point, when you experience wins, when you see good things happen to the world through you, then who wouldn’t want to get up and get after it? You don’t wake with dread. You roll out of bed with the feeling of possibilities before you.
- Knowing your purpose helps you sleep better at night.
Conversely, living with a sense of calling diminishes regret. It feels bad to lay your head on your pillow wondering what could have been. No one sleeps well while worrying about a wasted day. Living with purpose and seeing lives change because of you is so satisfying that it brings about a peace that settles your soul.
- Knowing your purpose goes a long way to establishing good mental health.
For all the aforementioned reasons, this calling-oriented life tends to minimize depression and anxiety. It reduces stress. It lowers blood pressure. It stills the noise. It raises well-being. It simply makes you happier and content.
- Knowing your purpose makes you easier to live with.
When you are feeling aimless and meaningless, you can be a pain to the people who love you. Just ask them. When you feel lost and anxious, let’s face it – you are irritable. You are short with people. Maybe you get angry or maybe you withdraw. Either way you’re no fun. Simply put, when you live out your purpose you become attractive, thoughtful, patient and hopeful.
My friends, the land between is an unpleasant place most of the time. But there is a way through it that will preserve your soul and fill you with hope. It is the way of purpose.
May I help you discover it? I would love to. Just let me know how I can help!