Designed for His Purpose (Part 1)

Cartoon penguin in surgeon's mask and scrubs.

This cartoon penguin is funny, but on another level faintly disturbing. Our penguin surgeon doesn’t appear to be at all suited for the healing role he’s trying to fill. I don’t think surgery is what God had in mind when He created these flightless, fish-eating birds.

What tasks did Jesus create you for?  

When I say we are each designed for His purpose, I mean that God uses each of us in specific ways in this world. Both our innate talents and unique experiences shape us into tools in His hand. I believe this applies to non-Christians too. There’s been many instances in the bible and in history where unbelievers fulfilled God’s will, unknowingly.

We are each designed ‘according to specs’.

A newborn baby is often described as ‘a blank slate’ and they are. An infant absorbs an enormous amount of information from his or her environment and it molds them into who they will be. Yet from a young age, small children begin to show innate abilities and interests. One child takes apart everything mechanical, while another considers every blank wall a canvas.

We are all born with different gifts and talents–and different interests. My brother Chris tested genius level in mathematics while in middle school. Equations fascinated him, like intricate puzzles he could always solve.

Me? Not so much. My true passion is biology and always has been. Most of my Pinterest images reflect my delight and fascination with the natural world, from ocean life to microscopic organisms.

Our experiences play a part in our calling.

My life experiences are different from anyone else’s. No one, in the history of the world has lived a life like mine. That’s not grandiose; it’s true of every person who’s ever walked on Earth. While our experiences overlap a great deal, each person lives a unique life. How we respond to our circumstances, good and bad, makes all the difference.

We sometimes chose roles we aren’t suited for.

Whether from ego, misinformation or outside pressure, sometimes Christians try to fill roles they aren’t equipped to do. Missionary work is only glamorous if you aren’t one. Otherwise, it’s full of red-tape, fundraising and trying to build bridges to people as you learn their language and culture. Some Christians are drawn to the mission field, because it’s what God created them for.

Is Jesus disappointed in me because I’m not serving Him as a full-time foreign missionary? No, He’s not. I don’t have the skill set or the desire. It’s not what God created me to do.

The penguin is designed to fulfill God’s purpose too.

Take another look at our cartoon penguin for a moment. He’s dressed the surgical scrubs and his flipper has a scalpel. But our penguin friend isn’t equipped mentally or physically to perform a C-section or take out an appendix. The only fact reassuring his patients is that on land a penguin waddles very slowly. Any of his human patients can outrun him. Surgery clearly isn’t what penguins are designed for.

penguins porpoising above the water.But if you put our “fowl surgeon” in the ocean, no Olympic swimmer can match the penguin’s speed, agility, grace, endurance or fish-catching skill. Penguins often stay in the sea for months, coming out on land only to molt and breed. Some species thrive in freezing water temperatures which would kill any of us in minutes. Our Creator designed them to be happy, flightless, aquatic, fish-eating birds.

So what role has Jesus designed you for?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Ps 139:13-14)

Cartoon supplied by; image of swimming penguins supplied by


Check out this story by Berkeley Breathed, creator of the Bloom County comic strip:

“A Wish for Wings that Work” An Opus Christmas Story by Berkeley Breathed

If the cartoon character Opus in “Bloom County” makes you smile, you will love this short Christmas story. Opus the Penguin asks Santa for wings to help him fly like other birds. The tale takes an interesting turn when Santa’s sleigh malfunctions.

For more interesting fun facts about penguins, check out these links:

Lastly, here’s the link to my Pinterest images.


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