On our journey through life, we engage in many, individual searches; search for meaning, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, happiness, etc.  We want to know why we’re here.  This journey takes time and time is our most precious commodity.  We only have so much of it between birth and death, and we have no idea exactly how much we actually have.  So, life becomes a string of decisions and activities that absorb our time and energy; things like commitments and obligations, family, passions and vices, work, and pleasure.  Somehow, in the midst of many distractions, we manage to “find ourselves”—or find that thing (or person) who gives life meaning.  We begin to direct ourselves and, in many cases, our worth into a specific vein of thought and coordinated plan of action.  In other words, we invest our passions into a place of purpose.  Then the work really begins.

Success is oftentimes placed in the category of the attainable by the internal or external driver(s) within our lives—the “why” behind what we do.  Are we acting in our own self-interest? Are we doing things to please God? Self-improving minds continually search for answers to the questions of ‘why we do, what we do.’ The greater the understanding we have for the “Why,” the more likely we are to find peace and balance in our lives.  Ask any entrepreneur, change agent, social activist, minister, or individual working to make a difference in their or others’ lives, and they’ll likely share moments (perhaps hours) of discouragement wherein s/he considered throwing in the towel.  But then they pondered on their personal “why” behind what they do.

When you consider the components of success, most fail to consider the most basic—and perhaps most necessary—component of all…the “why” behind what you do.  Do you know abuse, so you work to help others who have been abused?  Perhaps you’ve known hunger, so you work to feed children?  I’ve known men and women who have addictions in their background, so their experience has made them empathetic to those who struggle with all sorts of addictions.  Life is like a novel and as the years pass we write the content of that work.  When our story is complete, and others remember who we are and what we’ve done, few will share your reason “why”, so a powerful aspect of who we are and why we are will be lost.  Even the most life-changing works fail to be duplicated well, because the “why” behind the work is not fully realized or forgotten altogether by those who follow.

Your “why” is powerful, because it compels and drives you to continue to travel on your present road, even when you desire to quit or pursue another direction.  As a speaker, I touch on purpose quite a bit.  In my mind, it all comes down to purpose.  No matter how difficult times may be, one is able to know peace if s/he understands their purpose.  The prophet Isaiah said it this way, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10). Nothing can give us confidence and strength like understanding God’s sovereignty in our lives. God’s sovereignty is His total and complete independent control over every event, circumstance, and creature at every moment in time. Influenced by none, subject to none, and entirely independent, God is in complete control of every moment, and everything that happens is either caused or allowed to happen by Him for His perfect purposes.

But exactly how much control does God have?  This is the point where the power of free will given to us by God comes into play. Are you among those who are unable to exercise free will or communicate an original thought for fear of failure, rejection, or lack of knowledge regarding who you are or what your individual purpose actually is?  When we find out God’s purpose for our life, why our lives are on a given path despite our secret and known desires, and what driver has been placed within our life, mind, and heart to press forward, that is when we fully recognize the “why” behind times and situations, works and outcomes, and our expected end. I challenge you to identify your personal “why” today and boldly proclaim it!