Every December when I see ubiquitous UPS trucks delivering packages, I think about 4-year-old Carson Kight, whose YouTube video has been viewed by over three million folks (including me). The delight in Carson's eyes is contagious -- and it's the kind of excitement we can experience in our work.
Joy comes from knowing our work has purpose, whether we deliver packages, build the roads for trucks to drive on, create the products that are delivered, sell the insurance to mitigate loss--or do countless other types of work that are necessary for human flourishing.
But joy also comes from employing the gifts God gave us. When we use our God-given abilities, we engage God’s creative power that He embedded in our soul. There is no deeper satisfaction than doing what God desires. His energy flows through the gifts He gave us and our soul knows this intuitively and responds in joy when our gifts are engaged.
When we follow the scent of joy, it will lead us to the role God designed us to play -- the role in which we feel the greatest sense of satisfaction and enjoyment.
In the classic movie Chariots of Fire, Olympic runner Eric Liddell responds to his sister's attempts to discourage his athletic ambitions: “God made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” Liddell knew God had designed and gifted him for a purpose.
Here's how you can begin to identify the elements of God's design in you.
Start by asking, When do I feel God’s pleasure? Where did I experience a great deal of personal satisfaction in what I did? Then ask yourself and answer these questions about each instance.
1. What was I doing specifically?
2. How was I going about doing it?
3. What was I using to accomplish what I did?
4. What were the circumstances?
5. Did I work alone or with others? If others, how did I work with them?
6. What was so satisfying about what I did?
When you discover that you’ve jotted down similar answers repeated from instance to instance, you are picking up a pattern of your giftedness. Write them down and use them when you’re evaluating any job you take on -- whether in a company, your church, or in the community.