Today, I offered an On-Purpose® Person training to a select few. When I’m trying something new, I’ll often pull together a beta group. Christianne was a participant. She’s a bright young woman who is a writer and grad student. There is something about talking about one’s purpose and being all clinical about it. It is another thing to experience it.
Toward the end of the day, I was sharing at story of a speaking engagement I had in St. George, Utah years ago. After signing books for a couple of hours, the last person in the long line was a young woman who was well overweight. With tears in her eyes she joyfully declared, "I know my purpose in life. It is to lose weight."
Now with tears almost in my eyes for her misguided sense of purpose, I suggested that her purpose was something much greater than that. Losing weight was merely a goal, not her purpose. As we talked more, I could see the burden of performance anxiety that weighed upon her heart… and was translated into her body. Grace was an alien concept to her youthful understanding.
I tell this story to share a bit of Christianne’s story. Moments after sharing this story, Christianne tugged on her husband’s forearm. It caught my attention. She was radiating. Our eyes met and she spoke, "I know my purpose statement." All sat at attention. I can’t tell you the number of times, like in St. George, that people tell me they know their purpose only to describe some activity, mission, or goal that might last a season, but not a life time. What would come out of Christanne’s mouth?
Christianne announced, "Extending Grace, I exist to serve by Extending Grace." Wow! Reverent silence fell over the room as if we had all been present at the birth of child. A current day miracle had happened right before our eyes. When someone comprehends their purpose statement for the first time there is often this gasp of air they such into their lungs. I call it the breath of Adam as in when God breathed life into the clay to create man. The entire room was filled with the Holy Spirit in that moment.
She had nailed it. What I knew of her this purpose statement seemed to be exactly right. I have a number of questions I’ll ask people to temper their purpose statement. This strengthening and refining process can often bring it to a higher degree of purity and understanding. After further inquiry and discussion, I surmised that Christanne’s purpose of "Extending Grace" was spot on.
Her life is still the same, yet it will never be the same. Now that she knows her purpose, she will begin her walk into being an on-purpose person. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I predict amazing things for Christanne. She knows who she now regardless of the circumstances. That’s being on-purpose.