Spiritual Practice


Hannah Beaven, 17

Math has always appealed to me because of the way in which its many different strategies converge on a single, indisputable answer. I like answers, and I have always been envious of those who knew from an early age the answer to an especially vexing question: What do you want be when you grow up? As a senior in high school, I feel increasing pressure to decide on a college and course of study. I want to do the work God has created me to do, though I have struggled to decipher exactly what that is.

Recently, I stumbled upon a piece of advice by Bishop T. D. Jakes: “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” Yet, this suggestion only raised more questions: How do I know which of my varied interests is the passion God wants me to pursue? How can I be certain that following my passion is in harmony with God’s will?

Gradually, I am being forced to accept that life is not so clear-cut as to possess a single, indisputable answer. But perhaps the math analogy is not entirely erroneous. Just as there can be multiple ways to solve an equation, we can use our different passions and talents to serve the same God. God continues to walk with us no matter what path we take and offers grace when we make a wrong turn.

What the math analogy fails to capture is God’s flexibility and power. While math is relatively rigid and unchanging, our purpose evolves as we mature in faith. God is bigger than any vocation or life decision and weaves our purpose into a narrative far broader than we could ever comprehend. God wants us to embrace who we are made to be. When we accept our individual quirks and use our unique abilities, we fulfill our God-given purpose.

First Corinthians 12:14-18 reminds me that I am made with a purpose. The poem “Fill Me Up” is my prayer that God will use me as God desires. I am learning that God uses gifts in unexpected ways according to a sometimes surprising and oftentimes confusing timeline. Yet, I pray with gratitude and confidence, trusting that God’s plan is more perfect than I could ever imagine.

Fill Me Up

Abundant God
Let me overflow
With your love
Satisfy this hunger
Let me be full
With enough remaining
To feed another soul

Take this heart
Make it yours
A self-portrait for which
I’m your canvas, Lord
Make me a color
In your rainbow masterpiece
A portrait of grace
Titled, “Humanity”

Pour me out
Scrawl your name
In crimson ink
On your servant’s face
That others may see
Your countenance in mine
Not the story of a saint
But of a love divine

Shine your light
Through my life
Make horizontal love
Of my vertical pride
Cover me in fingerprints
A love-ridden trail
Left by hands
once pierced with nails



Try these steps to discover your purpose:

  1. Consider your interests, gifts, passions, and dreams.
  2. Ask family, friends, teachers, and mentors what special talents and abilities they see in you.
  3. Reflect on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Pray that God will reveal the special role you have in the body of Christ.
  4. Be patient! God’s timing is often different—and more perfect—than we expect.
Hannah Beaven, 17 , is a student who loves swimming, reading, and playing piano. Her favorite place to spend time with God is in a tree, particularly the large oak in her front yard.

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