After career day in kindergarten, a little girl came home all excited and told her mother that she wanted to be a nurse. Her mom said, “You don’t have to be a nurse. This is America. You can be anything you want to be. You can be a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, even the director of the whole hospital.” The little girl was excited. “I can be anything, anything at all?” As she thought about it, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, “I want to be a horse!”
But in truth, you can’t be anything you want to be. You can be only what God has designed you to be. God has designed everyone with a purpose. He put a unique seed inside of you. A cantaloupe seed is designed to be a cantaloupe. That cantaloupe seed may decide it wants to be a watermelon. Watermelons are bigger and prettier, and they go to all of the picnics. The cantaloupe can even map out a watermelon strategy. It can buy some possibility tapes and play them over and over, “It’s a possibility; I can be a watermelon,” or even buy some positive thinking tapes: “You positively can be a watermelon.” The cantaloupe may even obtain some subliminal tapes to play while it sleeps.
The cantaloupe could even go New Age and channel up some 400-year-old guru to tell it that in its other life it was a watermelon. Get a crystal and sit cross-legged and contemplate its navel while humming and think positive watermelon thoughts. Get in touch with the inner child; perhaps its inner child was a watermelon. Walk on fire and prove it’s not afraid to be a watermelon.
All of that can be done, but when it grows, it will be a cantaloupe. It will be an insecure, dysfunctional, neurotic one, but it will be a cantaloupe because that’s what God designed it to be. That was its purpose.
The only thing you are qualified to be is yourself. You can’t do it all, and you can’t get it all. (If you did, where would you put it?) The key to life is finding your purpose, what you are created to excel in. Have you ever seen an Olympic gymnastics champion take the gold medal and also take the gold medal in the shot put? Or the mechanic at the auto shop who also moonlights as an oral surgeon? It doesn’t happen. Everyone has a race he or she is created to run. Some run the 220, others excel in the marathon, while others do better in the sprints.
Purpose is the engine of life. Without purpose, we’ll become like the funny cars at the circus. They are the cars with the axle off-center that just go around in circles. Clowns get on the funny cars, bounce along, go in circles, and hold on for dear life. There may be a lot of activity, but there’s no accomplishment. That may be funny at the circus, but it’s no way to live your life. Most of us plan our vacations better than we plan our lives.
Maybe it’s time for us to determine what it is we were created to do. A history teacher regularly told his class, “You can take this class one of two ways: You can take it seriously or take it over.” We better take life seriously because we don’t get to take it over.
Musically speaking, the bottom line is: B sharp, never B flat, and always B natural. Discover what God created you to do and be. The question for us is, are we “running the race” that God designed us to run, or are we just running?