Finding Your Purpose: Using the WISP method (part II)

Here we are at PART II.

If you didn’t read the first post in the series,
it’s the important first step.

You don’t want the ISP method. That would be weird. :)


Read about the “W” by clicking HERE.


As I’ve studied transformation and purpose I’ve noticed there seems to be something slippery about it. Sometimes we can feel derailed or question our purpose. It’s rather ordinary, in fact.

The famous people in the Bible went though times of doubt and I’m glad those ancient accounts are included because it helps to know that the human condition is rife with slumps, bumps, murky waters, aimless wilderness periods, and questions about what we should be doing on this “Big Blue Marble”.


We tend to see these periods of purposelessness or doubt as problems instead of as part of the journey.

The WISP technique is something I came up with to keep me on track.

I find that keeping a notebook of the process makes it much simpler.


Did you do your homework?
Make sure you do it before you encounter the next step, okay?






General inquiry is not what the “I” in WISP is about.

This step of the process helps to loosen our firm grip on seeing and directing our lives as usual.

This type of inquiry:

  • is one of faith
  • leaves some open-end questions up in the air, for now
  • digs down deeper into underlying blocks and fears
  • taps into a greater understanding of human purpose and how to get there

For this step, you get your handy-dandy notebook out and start by making a list of all the questions you have on your mind right now. What’s bothering you?

Write. It. Down.

There may be many questions. Just get started. Write as much as you can for about 10 minutes.

As you write them out you will find that categories or patterns emerge. If you don’t, let the questions sit and add more in a day or so. Then, look again. If you still don’t see patterns, ask for help from someone you trust.

Examples of possible inquiry/question patterns:

  • What can I do that I love that will provide enough money right now?
  • What have I enjoyed doing the most and what happened during those times?
  • What will it take to get prepared for the next leg and how will I pay for it?
  • What caused my last failure and how could I have prepared better?
  • What is bothering me about Mr [So & so]’s success?


Do you see the pattern that started to emerge here?

It’s Money.
Fear of failure and jealousy are cropping up too. All good to see.

When we put down our burning questions our fears will be revealed.


Our fears cloud the way to finding our purpose, but…

“The remarkable thing is that our fears themselves are not the obstacles but the vehicles that lead to finding and fulfilling our purpose.” -LD


Josie finds it hard to find her purpose. She’s been unhappy at her job and wants to make a bigger difference in the world. 

Through inquiry she locates the root of her fears, and realizes that her compassion for the intellectually disabled is because of her own story.

She always felt stupid in school. A learning disability made it hard for her to read in first grade. Eventually, she did well in school, but the fear of not being smart enough still distracts her and clouds the pursuits of her greater purpose.

Josie’s purpose lies in working closely with this population.

Upon realizing this, Josie sets out with new verve to get experience and the additional skills needed to find other more meaningful work and accomplish her greater purpose. She creates goals to get there.

Goals are measurable. Wishes are not.

During a period of inquiry we may inquire of God and others we trust, too, but we have to do our hard work ourselves, and not cop out.

If we ask questions of them, we have to be prepared to both listen without judgment and superimposing our wishes and agenda (for the time being), but also we need remove the weeds from all that we are hearing get to the best and most useful parts for the next step. No ACTION is required, just honest inquiry, awareness, and digging around.

In this stage, answering all the questions isn’t as important as having the guts to ask them honestly.

The next step is “S”.

(scroll down)


Sometimes just doing the first two steps will create a breakthrough. You may have found your purpose already. If that happened, I encourage you to see the whole method through regardless. If you find yourself closer to understanding your purpose right now, that’s great, but you’ll be surprised by the next two Steps, and you shouldn’t miss out on them.



Make your inquiry list.

You don’t have to answers the questions yet, just put them out there.

Let them percolate for a few days and then return to them. 

Note what patterns emerge. Add new questions.

See what new perspective you come up with.

Click for the next post here.


Wet Dog Diary: Providing for the Pack

I’ll spare you a corresponding photo, but Luna, our chocolate lab, tried to bring a dead rabbit into the house.

Luna our chocolate lab

Not long ago, just after Luna began adjusting to us and as her new family, I took her outside for her final bathroom break of the day.

She sniffed around as usual and then slowly blended into the inky night. Chocolate labs are pretty tough to spot at night, unless you catch the light reflected off the backs of their eyes. I waited. Then sensing that she might smell something and head off after it, I called to her. Nothing. Again I called and a few more times.

I heard the jingle of her collar in the weeds and then she pranced back with something furry in her mouth.

Not quite the hunter, Luna found an already killed and gutted rabbit and brought the carcass back. She wanted to bring it inside and share it. I screamed. And she seemed stunned.

“Put it down. Put it down. No, girl. Get inside.” I said.

She dropped it–mortified. Clearly she was a mix of mystified and disappointed you could just tell by her face. She sneaked inside and kept checking back to see what could be the matter. For days after we hosed down the back area where she dropped her present she would sniff and make some attempts to roll in the smell.

Gone were her chances to provide for the pack, at least in that way.

I wonder if we’re like that too sometimes. Trying to provide or contribute, thinking we’re doing a great job, and really God knows that our contributions are more like rotten carrion. It’s incomprehensible sometimes to us why somethings we’re doing won’t work, but for reasons that escape us God wants us to put down our treasured booty and come back inside.

I don’t think God wants us to give up our “doggie-like ways” or our “doggie-ness”, after all God made us people entirely on purpose. He knows we tend to get into trouble sometimes. Nevertheless some habits are important and healthy to break. And just like I started attaching Luna to her chain during outdoor pit stops maybe sometimes we have to get reigned in too.

Doug is Messing About in Boats

I was loving this post by Doug Jackson. There are times when I read very good writing and a joy fills my soul. Today was one of those times, and so I thought I’d share an excerpt and entice you to enjoy the rest of it at the link below.

(the image is of a fishing boat from Palestine in 1st Century from in 1986, and nicknamed “the Jesus Boat”)


Thursday: Messing About in Boats


I thought about my car, a quarter-century old Toyota Corolla of indeterminate color and inelegant pedigree. It isn’t quite as long or wide as the Jesus Boat. Dog hair flecks the threadbare upholstery. A neighbor told me he always knows when I head for work or return home by the choked grumble of my engine. It is small. It is old. Is it also an opportunity for the mighty works of Christ?

And, of course, if this is true of that disreputable beater I drive, it is also true of the disreputable driver. A tiny life, a fool’s motley of patchwork parts, unshrunk scraps that have pulled great gaps where unwashed wisdom met threadbare experience. Throughout my days I have tinkered with the finicky mental mechanism, duct-taped the physical dilapidation, rerouted the spiritual wiring and generally tried to get ‘er to crank over for one more commute. One of these days the thing will flat refuse to run and the cankering rust won’t hold up to bolts or solder. I’ll just shove the whole concern into the high weeds and walk away. ~Doug Jackson, from Israel


Read the rest, I implore you! HERE

Protected: Discernment Series: The Good Work of Weeds

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Lost in the Weeds

You know you’re lost in the weeds when frustration sets in.

The weeds.

That’s the place off the narrow path.

And what’s the common wisdom for those who are lost? Stay put.

You will be found.

And indeed, it’s not that God will look for you and find you.

Because he knows just where you are. And he knows you.

You will instead awaken to him, and finally

Notice that he’s beside you, and you are not lost at all.

The benefit of a solid theology

Is knowing that there is no place that God is not.

O, God, let me find you in the weeds.