Which do you do first?

Feed the cat, if you have one. Please. Then there are things you do regularly, brush teeth, go to the gym maybe. When it comes to my millennial friends, then the order seems to be: love, then KonMari, then school then job… what else is left? Oh, right, let’s figure out what life is about.

You might never notice a problem with that order…as long as you never find your life’s purpose. But if you do one day find that you are uniquely suited to actually DO something of value for people, for the world, that your experience and gifts are perfect for something that people need, and that only you can do… then you might wish you figured it out sooner.

If you knew why you were here, then that might shape what kinds of jobs and careers you would be good in. If you knew your purpose you’re more likely to find relationships with people who have complementary paths in life, and could help you instead of hindering you. It would be harder love someone if one day you felt like they were the thing holding you back form achieving your life’s purpose; if that happens, your job is to love your spouse anyway and still put their care first. You really can’t do ANYTHING until you figure out what your purpose here is… You can feed the cat, but even KonMari night be a problem.

This is Albert Einstein’s desk. This is what it looked like when he was productive. Not just him, lots of people’s work spaces look like this when they’re getting stuff done.

Here’s the famously minimalist Steve Jobs in his minimalist black turtleneck. His home was sparse and organized but his work area had a little more…um, character. Do you know why? He really wasn’t home that often. He didn’t raise his kids, he wasn’t a very good family man by his own admission. But when he worked it looked like this.

Just one more. Tony Hsieh, who conveniently has his name taped above his head – in his natural work habitat. This is what life looks like. This is why kids make everything so messy. You might want your living room to look like show room, but they actually live there, and they’re doing serious R&D, learning and creating.

Now I like a neat room and desk as much as anyone, and I’m a fan of the KonMari method, it’s really the only new system for organizing a home that has come up in my lifetime. But…before you have Einstein throw out all those pieces of paper that did not give him joy, he should probably figure out what his life is about. A clean house is not a sign of success…unless you are a housecleaner, in which case it is. If you’re a theoretical physicist or an entrepreneur, chances are where you spend your time is going to look like it does for these guys.

“Does quantum mechanics give me joy? Nein! God does not play dice!”

So which should you do first? You aren’t actually capable of determining whether you’ll find something – or how long you will search – not entirely. But you can make it your first priority to look for this. God loves you and wants you to know Him; He’s also given you gifts and abilities and connections and perspective that, all together, make you completely unique unlike any other person who has lived up until today. And He’s placed you in this broken world to face it, along with your own brokenness, so that you can partner with God in being part of the solution. God freed the Israelites, but He did it through Moses, and Aaron. In the same way, what are you here to partner with God to do? Some of you have a lot to work out with God first, but Jesus has already done all the impossible stuff, so all that’s left is to repent and ask and go forth. Peace.

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