What’s Next? – Preparing for a Purpose
Imagine you are on a stairwell enclosed by walls which ends with a lighted open door at its apex. You are currently on step five but the stairwell extends well beyond your current position. This is the position that many people who struggle with addiction find themselves after completing some form a recovery program. The beginning has passed, forward progress is obvious, and yet many steps remain. What’s next?
Taking more steps!
At The Foundry, we define recovery as “What you, God, and others do to get you to, and keep you in your best life” (Winslet, 2019). Obviously, this definition sets an expectation that life will continue beyond our care and far into happier years if preparations are made for habitual next steps. Beyond staying sober, completing a program, and growing in a local church, what is left? As it turns out, the answer is “Lots!”
Purpose is more than a job or career. Purpose implies eternal destiny. Yes, God has initial steps that we all must take to begin a purposeful journey. However, good works were prepared for us before time began that align with our particular SHAPE (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences) (Warren, 2013). Although gainful employment is a measurable outcome here at The Foundry, we posture people by uncovering their SHAPE so they may flourish in their God-given purpose. Staying connected to our God-given purpose is transcendent beyond a job, money, education, material possessions, and sobriety. Purpose is continuous; therefore, purpose is principle driven.
Below are three of the “12 Preparation for a Purpose Principles” that help set participants on a path of habitual next steps:
1.) The Journey Principle
Purpose is not static (lacking in movement, action, or change), but instead, is dynamic (characterized by constant change, activity or progress). Contentment will not be found within complacency and the joy is in enjoying the journey.
2.) The Flexibility Principle
Mistakes, ambiguity, and obstacles are all part of the purpose process. You must be flexible in order to stay on the purpose journey; your purpose may be subject to evolution along the way. Expect to be on the purpose journey, but don’t expect the purpose journey to be exactly as expected. Forget not “Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape!”
3.) The Responsibility Principle
No one else is responsible for your thoughts, emotions, choices, behaviors, and indeed the very condition of your life other than yourself. Placing that which is your responsibility into the hands of others will halt your progress, poison your potential, and can even nullify your purpose process.
Brad Thor once stated that “Power perceived is power achieved.” At the Foundry, we echo that sentiment: “Principles believed are purpose conceived!”
We believe that applying these principles changes “What’s next?” from a phrase of anxiety and fear into a declaration of excitement and hope.