Your Compelling Mission

Here’s the most important thing—to understand what you are trying to accomplish in life. It sounds grandiose and at the same time seems simple.

The shortfall is that few people have defined their mission in life.

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I had a conversation the other day with a dear friend.  His work schedule is out of control as an on-call emergency room doctor who services several hospitals depending on their needs.  He is motivated by both the desire to serve and to earn more money for his family.   Married with three young sons, he is simply not present enough at home and this is starting to take its toll.  His desire and goal—his mission—is to be home more with his family.

He explained two options for a new job.  The first is a fixed schedule at one hospital, working 12 days per month.  The second is 11 days at that hospital plus 2 days at another facility.  The attraction of option two is that he has the opportunity to work more hours and earn more money as the need arises.  The challenge with this option is the temptation to work more hours.  Therein lays the issue.

I reminded him of his self-professed goal of more time at home with his family.  I asked him one question—“Which option will take you towards your goal?” to which he quickly admitted that the temptation of the second option would most definitely lead him to work more, defeating his mission.  His military background snapped him to attention as he said to himself, “Stay focused on the mission”.

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The quandary with the generous life that God provides us is that we have abundant opportunities.  Therein lays the challenge—not of choosing between good and bad, right and wrong, broken and whole—those are easy decisions.  Our difficulty lies in choosing between good and good.  There is the intersection where we challenge our core values that undergird our mission.

I challenge you to define your personal mission.  We often run wildly through life thinking we understand it but I would bet that few of us have sat down, analyzed it, put pen-to-paper and committed to it.

This exercise will give you clarity with decisions, help the people close to you understand your intentions, and move you along the road to achieve your God-given purpose.  Try it.