Chris and I had a very serious discussion the other day about our purpose in life. No, I still haven't figured it out and neither has he. I asked him if he felt like he was doing what he was made for. For some reason we both struggle with the notion that we need to be missionaries in a foreign country in order to truly live up to our purpose. I wonder if we would still feel the same unrealized potential if we actually were missionaries in a foreign land? Probably.
It is somehow humbling to know that I probably won't be converting heathen tribes any time soon...that my purpose is smaller than that. Wouldn't it be fun to have a big purpose? Where thousands of lives are touched because of you? Wouldn't it be fun to be so passionate about something that there was no doubt in your mind that that particular need is why you were created? Sure, I feel passion about certain causes, hurting babies and animals come to mind, but I'm not rescuing them or caring for them so much that anyone would ever notice. And maybe that is the crux of the matter. I want a calling that is note-worthy. One where people tell me that I am doing great things for the world and what did the world ever do before I came along? I don't imagine I'm alone in this. It's kind of a pride-deflater to realize that probably won't ever be me.
But it is easy to look around at those I love and tell how their lives have changed mine. Feeding the homeless, or adopting orphans, or digging wells for clean drinking water may seem infinitely more important than calling a friend to see how they are doing, or offering to help when it's not convenient, or telling someone you love them, but maybe those things are undervalued. I know what it means to me when someone willingly carves out some time to just be with me, or when my husband makes a meal because I don't want to cook, or when someone asks me how I'm feeling and they truly care about the response. I'm not hungry or suffering or hurting right now, and so I might not seem like a likely candidate to receive someone's care...in fact, I can think of many people who are more deserving and more needy than I. But, I'm grateful for all those around me who might feel like their purpose is "small" but who are making a big difference in my life by teaching me what it's like to give.