My Journey To Find Fulfillment
Missing God’s Calling
When I was younger, I wondered what to do for a career. I was told God had a plan, and I needed to seek it. Once I discovered what it was, I would have found my meaning in life.
Most of my friends seemed to know their plan, but I had no idea! I got confused and felt lost. I banded with the few others who also seemed unable to solve the riddle.
I struggled mightily. I did not know what God’s plan for me was. Did I miss it? Was I not listening hard enough?
Fear of being on the wrong path was paralyzing. I did not want to stutter step into anything because I was not sure any particular thing was The Plan.
Easy advice like “Pray,” “Follow your passion,” and “You’ll know it when you see it” never answered the questions I had. I ended up driving trucks, working in coffee shops, homeless shelters, and kitchens. All good work, but I was restless and unfulfilled. I wanted to find that Plan.
It was not until much later when I came to believe that what I was told was wrong.
God, if he created humans in his image, created us to be in his image: creators. I came to believe it was in creating that humans find meaning, find purpose, and find fulfillment! We are creators. So we must create. I needed to find the thing I could create. For me, that ended up being writing.
How Are You Fulfilled?
Everyone has a different way of being creators and finding fulfillment. It can manifest as literal things you produce, but also in how you solve problems, how you relate to other people, or how you engage with the world each day.
Being a creator is only one element of our journey towards fulfillment. Other elements include exploring opportunities to learn and teach. Where do you pause to observe and listen? How do you pass along what you know to others, or help those in need?
Being creators and learners can happen in any field: math, accounting, science … actually finding ways to be creative in your field is a way of being a creator!
Being Creative is a Natural State
In my town, there is an organization called Creative Reuse. They collect clean, safe stuff other people don’t want. They show up at festivals with rows of tables full of this stuff. It all looks like junk to me, makes my skin itch a little.
But guess what? Kids flock to it. They sit and immediately just begin assembling — creating. Crazy stuff, things I couldn’t imagine making from random items like a pile of cotton balls, throat swabs, rubber bands, and plastic clamshell cases. Oh, I see it! A fighter jet!
They are just following a base instinct to assemble and make, to be creative as a way to express. As kids, that is one of our most primary instincts — explore, learn, create.
Find the creek. Watch how the water flows. Build a dam of mud and rocks.
Living with Purpose
I have found God’s calling for me. It isn’t a plan that is already complete that I must seek out.
It is a process I undertake —explore, learn, create, and if I am lucky enough, inspire.
It is a childlike posture I can take in viewing the world with wonder and trying to solve problems. Look at the pile of junk. What can I make new from it? I mimic what I see, adding my own experience and insights, growing as I do so.
Learning is additive. You don’t start at the end, already knowing everything. You start at the beginning and add as you go. It took me a while to find my path. That path is to be a creator and mentor where I am able. I hope you find your path.
Just remember, you have the ability to create it yourself. In doing so, you mirror creation. Go do it.