"Everyone ends up somewhere in life.
A few people end up somewhere on purpose."
-from Visioneering by Andy Stanley
I've recently realized that this statement has a great deal of significance for me. I am not content to end up somewhere and soak my purpose out of what happened along the way. I want the somewhere I'm going to be the purpose.
This is why I work in ministry. There's nothing wrong or bad about working in the secular marketplace - in fact, it would be a pretty difficult world to live in if nobody worked "normal" jobs (so thanks to all of you who do so.) I did just that for several years, and in several capacities, before going to work full-time in ministry.
But for me, life in the corporate work world just didn't make me tick. There just didn't seem to be any point to it. Sure, I could be nice to people and carry myself in a Christ-like manner as I went throughout my day, but the reason for my existence (from a job perspective) didn't have anything to do with doing anything good for people. It was all about corporate gain, and it wasn't enough for me to just know that we were doing it ethically, or that I was "being a light" wherever I went. I couldn't draw my purpose in life out of opportunities that I encountered on the way to an otherwise un-intentional destination. I wanted the destination to be my purpose.
Here is the inherent danger for me and others who are like-minded. The destination means nothing without the journey. Christ hasn't called us to "accomplish." He's called us to love the Lord our God, and to love others as ourselves. And that, friends, is not a destination. It's what happens along the way.
In ministry, it's easy for me to be so destination-focused that I lose sight of the fact that the people along the way... kind of ARE the destination.