If you had one wish, what would it be?

For more money perhaps?

Fame and recognition?

To lose that weight once and for all?

To experience true love and marry till death do you part?

Maybe to have a loved one back? Or have a cure for the cancer battle your facing right now?

Or maybe to understand your purpose once-and-for-all?

Long ago, there was a king who was granted one wish. He loved God—followed His commands and showed abundant honor to God in ways that demonstrated a true heart and devotion to Him. And so, God granted him a “wish” of sorts, telling Solomon to ask Him (God) whatever he wished and He would give it to him. (1 Kings 3:1-15)

What did this king ask for?

Not more fame, nor money, nor any other earthly thing. King Solomon asked for: wisdom.

King Solomon was granted this request and became the wisest man to have ever lived. And in the beginning he used this wisdom wisely, however in the years to come he was tempted by folly just as any person in power often is.

So, he began to pursue after the things of this world. He increased his power. Amassed riches beyond your wildest dreams. He enjoyed intoxicating drinks, slept with a multitude of women, had slaves and basically everything under the sun. He stopped pursuing God and instead pursued everything else in this world because greed told him it was what would make him happy. And yet, at the end of his life, he realized when he pursued after these things, “everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

There’s been much talk these days about purpose and calling and so many of you are chasing it by the tail. Perhaps you think you will catch it once you reach a certain level in your job or have that perfect house. Maybe it’s a sparkly jewel you’re aching to receive on your finger or two pink lines on a stick confirming your maternal role that you believe you were made for. And maybe you have wise and good intentions by creating a ministry to serve the homeless or write a book to facilitate change and growth in others.

But here’s the thing that I’ve had to face head-on recently which has been painful but fruitful: honesty.

Honesty asks me, “Are you doing this for yourself or are you doing this for Him?”

This king soon discovered that everything UNDER the sun is meaningless, which is why we have to look ABOVE the sun to find our true purpose and calling.

A few years ago, I was feeling dead in my purpose. And yet, in a real sense, I had everything I thought would make me feel fulfilled: a loving husband, a great career, being a mom, a beautiful home, money in the bank, friends, family, church… and so on. Life was good!

However, at this time, Jesus was on the backburner. Oh, sure I went to church and checked off all my little “God boxes” to be a good Christian, but I felt off, perhaps a bit hollow, and wondered, “Is this really all there is to life?”

Years ago, I felt like Solomon. Chasing after the wind of opportunity, titles, achievements, and love in the wrong places—only to realize you can never quite catch it. Or maybe you do, but in all things the excitement soon fades and you’re back to a discontented soul, wondering why none of it fills you completely?

Try as you might, you will never find your purpose and calling in life in the calling itself.

Because the pursuit of calling means nothing if it doesn’t have the True Caller behind it.

Apart from Jesus, our calling means nothing. We can do all the good in the world—like building more ministries in His name—and yet completely miss the point as believers in pursuit of our Holy God.

Your purpose is about your journey to discover who you are more deeply and more fully, identifying the person God has created you to be. It’s about walking in obedience doing what Jesus calls you to do RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE and seeking contentment in Him alone. It’s about honoring God with your heart, giving Him your time and energy to do the work He’s calling you to do.

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It’s not about the destination but it’s about experiencing the closeness of Jesus leading you along the journey.

This is what nobody is telling you about pursuing your calling. So many are being blindsided by focusing more on the calling itself than the Caller, and wondering at the end of a pursuit why it feels so lackluster?

At some point you will chase after your purpose only to realize that your purpose is only found in Jesus.

Friends, let’s get back to the heart of why we are here in the first place: to glorify God with everything we’ve got and with everything we’ve been given—all our roles, talents, and possessions. Because in the end, everything under the sun is meaningless except Jesus.

Rachel C. Swanson is a dental hygienist turned author, speaker, and accredited life coach. Her writing is featured on multiple websites worldwide, reaching millions. She’s been married ten years to her husband who loves her despite her love for coffee and often impulsive nature. They rear their tribe of identical twin boys and their baby girl and a Weimaraner (dog). They reside in a wannabe country town just outside the big city Los Angeles, CA.