Build BackwardsNaima Lett | Blog | Wednesday April 25 2012
DAILY DOSE OF HOPE – BLOG – NAIMA LETT
I remember shopping for our first home.
My husband and I visited countless neighborhoods, one of which was brand new. A model house and a few others stood opposite the welcome gate, but the rest of the street bared empty plots. To get a clear picture of our options, we were shown blueprints. If we wanted a house built in that development, we had to pick the blueprints and the contractors would build backwards from our choices.
I don’t know a house that’s built without a blueprint.
I don’t know a successful business that’s built without a plan.
I don’t know a goal reached that wasn’t first a goal set.
We’ve started talking about life’s purpose, vision and planning.
Yesterday, we explored getting Clear Why We’re Here:
Thanks for your messages and feedback through the blog and social media. It’s lovely to hear from you and I’m glad this one, in particular, stirred you.
Today, we’re going to start the process of building backwards.
We want to figure out the end and work backwards to the start.
We want to dream about the finished house, then develop the blueprints accordingly.
So, we have to start with purpose.
Knowing our purpose is paramount.
Purpose goes beyond profession, though it could impact our choice of vocation.
When we know our purpose, it permeates every part of our lives.
Purpose is our reason for existence. Purpose is why we’re here.
And purpose transcends seasons of life.
It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, married with young children, single with teens, empty-nesters, working up the corporate ladder, building our own businesses, almost retired, retired for years, etc. Our purpose can be done in all stages of our lives.
The best place to start in figuring out our purpose is to ask the One who created us in the first place: God.
All throughout scripture, we see God revealing to people their purpose. The very first instance is in the first book of the Bible. When God made man, He said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth…” God created man in His own image… male and female He created them. God blessed them; and said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth…”GENESIS 1:26-31
Men and women are made in the image of God, the Creator, and told to keep creating and multiplying family and ruling over every living thing on earth. That’s the big picture.
Now what did God specifically have in mind when He thought of you?
PSALM 139 makes it clear that He thought about us when we were in the womb. He knew us.
Have we asked God why He created us?
Have we asked Him what He had in mind?
Just before Jesus is betrayed to crucifixion, He prays what has been called His High Priestly prayer to His Father. In that prayer, He says to God, His Father:
I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
Jesus says His purpose has been to glorify God and accomplish the work God gave Him to do.
Have we asked God how we can glorify Him and what work He’s given us to do?
These should give us some clues as we seek His answers:
* What do you love doing? What do you do that brings life to others and to you?
* What are you passionate about? Gifted in? Good at? What gets your heart beating?
* What do you talk about all the time that moves you?
* What do others say is your best contribution? How do others say you help them?
* What did you dream of doing before anybody told you you couldn’t do it?
* If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
* If you could help one group of people in the world, who would you help?
* If you could make a difference, what would you do?
* If you had all the resources, finances and time, along with God’s great big YES, what would you accomplish? How would you make a difference?
* If God asked you the one thing you wanted to do before leaving this earth, what would you say?
* If God asked you about your legacy, what would you want it to be?
* If you could sum up in a short sentence the message you want to leave on your earthly resting place, what would it say?
* What do you want others to say about you? How do you want to be remembered?
These are just a few questions to jump start discovering purpose. Even if you’ve done this exercise before, try it again. Go for clarity.
You may not have all the answers immediately, but see if you can carve out 10-15 minutes to just dream and ponder and meditate. Maybe over lunch or dinner. Take a walk on the beach or in a park. Wherever you can get a moment of serenity, try to get quiet before the Lord and ask Him for truth. He loves answering that type of prayer. And I believe He wants us to know our purpose and accomplish it.
I believe He wants us to be able to say, as Jesus did about His time here, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”
That’s what I want to say!
Your backwards-builder that’s fierce with the long-handle paint roller,
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