Working with Purpose
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
— Proverbs 19:21
In his book Meaningful Work, Shawn Askinosie, the founder of Askinosie Chocolate, shares his journey to discovering purposeful work. Shawn was a highly successful criminal defense lawyer, who reached a breaking point. Someone suggested that he find purpose by volunteering at a hospital. Thinking of others for a couple of hours a week made him feel better but the feeling faded when he returned to his self-centered, high-stressed life. So he quit his job, set out on a quest for true purpose and traipsed across the globe.
He found solace in a strange place: chocolate and working to improve the lives of the poor cocoa bean farmers in third-world countries. His new vocation feeds his heart. Feeding 1600 farmers’ children lunch every day feeds his soul. His new focus has given him purpose and joy.
Colossians is a letter of encouragement written to people struggling for purpose. Many of the believers there were in chains, slaves to the endless drudgery of washing dirty feet or emptying chamber pots. From his own prison cell, the Apostle Paul gave them the secret to purposeful work. Purpose comes when we adopt the mind of Christ and change our focus. No longer do we ask what our work can do for us. We ask what we can do for others through our work.
We can’t all quit our jobs and start chocolate companies, but we can find purpose. By shifting our focus from what our work can do for us to what we can do for others, we will break chains and begin on the path to joy.
Today’s One Thing
Do one thing with the intent to serve others and take note of the joy it brings.