Looking to salvage a cloudy day at the beach, we set out for options and stumbled upon an adventure – glass blowing. Who knew we’d encounter an experience that would so beautifully illustrate the steps needed to foster faith and pursue purpose in life.
7 Steps You Need To Pursuing Your Purpose:
1. Desire comes first.
Adventure and purpose don’t typically show up as a special delivery order when we haven’t first sought it out. I’ve been asked by a number of friends how I knew there was a studio where we could take a class, or how did I find it. The simple answer is I looked. I wanted to find a fun activity for us to share and simply googled “things to do near me.” Sometimes finding our purpose starts the same way… no, not with google, but with a desire to seek it out. It’s knowing that there is something to find, wanting it and seeking it out. Your next step may be setting out time to seek and ponder. Be willing to keep looking if the answer takes longer than you hoped. Fuel your desire and keep searching until you have clarity.
Our glass blowing adventure started with listening. The master craftsman walked through a number of safety precautions before showing us the multi-step process. Working with molten glass pulled from a 2000 degree oven comes with very serious risks. If we wanted our finished products to look like we’d hoped, we needed to follow his guidance from start to finish. In life, we need to listen before we do. Not just before we take a leap of faith, but even in the little steps that seem more mundane. While we may not see the risk in not listening, it’s often in the gentle nudges life gets its greatest course corrections. Pray, listen, and heed nudges. You never know where doing so might take you.
3. Take one step at a time.
While the class we took was glass blowing, only one of the many steps of the process involved us actually blowing. Turning the molten glass, tapping it into colored pieces, returning it to the oven were all necessary steps before we got to the one step that gave the whole process its name. But, all of the steps were necessary for the finished product. Sometimes the next step isn’t one that sound glamorous or feels important. But, just like our ornaments wouldn’t have turned out without one of the small steps, our journeys require many steps with different activities some of which feel unimportant when we do them. Take one step at a time in your journey. Resist the urge to do a step that isn’t yet.
4. Keep doing while you wait.
As we stepped through the entire process, we needed to keep the rod turning the entire time. No matter what else we were doing, we needed to be aware that if we stopped turning, the glass would become lopsided and could risk falling off the rod all together. In life, there are often little things we need to keep doing while we are waiting for the next step. I’ve heard it said keep doing the last thing God nudged you to do until he tells you what’s next. As you wait for what’s next, don’t stop moving all together. Keep doing what you knew to do last. “Next” will come along when it’s time.
After listening and following each of the many steps, it was time for our glass ornaments to take shape. The master craftsman lifted the long rod and blew a puff of air into the opening. We all stared waiting for something to happen… but nothing did. The solid blob of glowing glass remained at the other end. He stood still for a moment, still turning the rod when all of the sudden the mass expanded. A small air bubble emerged, giving the ornament its first sense of shape. He inserted a tube to the end of the rod and instructed me to blow into it. As I did, he continued to turn the rod and shaped the top of the ornament. The breath necessary for it to begin to take shape was his. In life it is no different. If we want the fruits of our labors to yield something beyond our imagination, beyond our potential, we need to be willing to let the first breath be that of “The Mastercraftsman.” When our efforts follow what He has first set in to motion, the results will be beyond us.
6. Fire is part of the process.
Throughout the making of our ornaments, the glass needed to go back into the intense heat. Between a number of the steps, exposure to the heat was necessary to keep the glass malleable and to keep it from breaking. Sometimes in our journey, challenges from situations or people expose us to sometimes unpleasant incredible heat. Allow those situations to cause listen extra closely to God’s instruction. Allow those situations to make you stronger because He knows you’ll need that strength in the future to keep you from breaking.
When our ornaments were finished, they weren’t done. Despite all outward appearances there was one crucial step left – waiting. The beautiful pieces that appeared to be done needed to go into a special 900 degree oven. Touching the pieces at this point would have caused 3rd degree burns and ruined the pieces. Instead they spent the night in a thermostat-controlled oven designed to slowly cool the pieces stabilizing them as it did. If the pieces were placed at room temperature any sooner, they would break. In life, sometimes appearances fool us. We need to remember a critical element of any journey is time. Be willing to wait so that you don’t risk breaking something that could be beautiful by rushing the timing.
I’m so thankful we took a chance and tried something new on that cloudy afternoon. But even more so, I’m grateful for the imagery the experience left me with. When you look ahead to your path in the future, I hope you will listen first, not rush steps that aren’t time yet, keep moving in the wait, and let His breath be first. When you do that, the results will be His and that’s the best treasure you can hope for.
Have you ever had the chance to go glass-blowing? Or has my adventure inspired you to try a craft or maybe to more vigorously pursue your purpose? I’m currently in the “doing while I wait” step. Which step are you in? I’d love to hear from you!
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Until next time, thanks friend!
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