How can I find a feeling of purpose?

Originally appeared online in the teen series: Q&A - April 22, 2020

Q: How can I find a feeling of purpose when nothing’s going on? 

A: I understand the way you’re feeling. Once, I was visiting family on a farm in South Africa—far away from home. It was beautiful there, but I started to feel adrift after a couple weeks, because I just wasn’t sure what else to do besides walk around the farm. I tried helping out with some of the day-to-day work, but it was clear I wasn’t really needed. I wanted to feel valuable and purposeful, but I just wasn’t getting that.

One thing I was able to do during this time was a project I’d created for myself, which involved reading through all of Mary Baker Eddy’s published writings other than Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. As I read, I came across this passage: “As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 165). This really struck me, because I saw that the capacity to be of service—to be and do good—wasn’t tied to any outward circumstances. Instead, good is the core of what each of us really is as God’s image and likeness. 

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