Purpose is a pretty big deal.

In the context of life, purpose matters. Our purpose is the answer to the age-old question, "Why are we here?" When we find ourselves wondering what difference our lives make or even why we were born, our purpose is the reason. We each were created and came to be here on earth with a specific mission that would serve humanity in a uniquely powerful way, a way that could not be manifested by anyone else on the planet at this time. We all share in our collective gifts, skills and talents, and we are all served by each other's purpose.

What is your purpose? Discovering your reason for being, at whatever point in life you find yourself, is a prospecting expedition filled with unexpected treasures. Serving that purpose, nurturing it to its fullest capacity to give to others, can deepen into a life-long passion full of wealth and happiness.

Where are you in your life journey? Take a few moments right now to consider what you enjoy in your life. What do you feel good about? What brings you pleasure or a sense of fulfillment? Perhaps the relationships in your life, family, friends or co-workers, are satisfying and special to you. For some people work is much more than a paycheck, but also a source of creative inspiration. For others hobbies, such as gardening, decorating, camping or canoeing bring them endless delight. Chances are very good that what brings you pleasure is somehow connected to your purpose.

Does that surprise you? For some reason purpose has gotten the bad rap of being difficult, miserable, even a burden, and as far away from what we naturally love doing as can possibly be. Simply put, it's not. Our purpose is a part of us, a part of what we love about ourselves that we can't wait to share.

Having identified what brings you joy, how do you share that with other people? How are other people served by what you bring to life? Are you a parent whose home is open to the neighborhood children? Perhaps your purpose is listening and advising young people. Do your organizational skills benefit the efficiency and over-all positive energy of the company for which you work? Perhaps your purpose is to create a framework for those around you to do their jobs well. Do your skills in food preparation bring praise from those who are lucky enough to sample your culinary delights? Perhaps your purpose is based in hospitality.

Most of us have come to believe that purpose is grand, larger than life and only valuable if worthy of being made into a Broadway musical extravaganza. While the stage is meant for some, our own, individual stories are profoundly more interesting. Being able to make a friend laugh, presenting a solid talk about values at a PTA meeting or teaching someone how to write a love letter may make much more impact in transforming the world than we will ever know. Purpose matters because we never know how many people we will touch by living into what we have been created to do and be.

Now, one more thing to consider. How will you serve this purpose you have identified as your own? How will you nurture it, care for it, so that you may continue to use it well in service to others? Based in these questions is the simple truth that we must care for ourselves before we can care for others. It may seem selfish or out of order to care for ourselves first, but the reality is no one else is going to do it for us, and feeding and growing our purpose is a crucial part of living our lives fully and happily.

My guess is that gardeners understand this concept very well. Known for their gift of producing great displays of color and texture, quite literally from dirt, they are also aware of the time, planning and grunt work it takes to produce these natural marvels. What motivates them? Seed catalogues, florist shops, appreciation of other gardeners' efforts and results. They give themselves the gift of loving what they do best in all kinds of forms and shapes and sizes. They nurture their purpose by connecting to it everywhere they can find it. It's a great example we can all follow. Pay attention for ways you can serve and nurture your purpose every day.

Whether you have recently discovered your purpose or you are an old hand at sharing your gifts with others, we each have the chance to make a difference in other people's lives while enriching our own. The wealth of living one's purpose well may or may not be financial. But true abundance can be measured in as many ways as we can make a positive influence in the world each day.

Author's Bio: 

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay with a double major in Communication and the Arts and Social Change and Development and a minor in Women's Studies, was ordained into the ministry of the Moravian Church in North America after completing her Master of Divinity degree studies through Moravian Theological Seminary. Over twenty-five years of experience in individual and community ministries gives Rev. Kemp an informed perception about faith, its implications and struggles in everyday life. Rev. Kemp focuses her work on helping people understand their faith and how faith can become transformational in their lives. Bring authentic, meaningful faith into your daily life by visiting www.creatingwomenministries.com.