Q: When I was young, people told me that God put us here for a purpose. I asked God to show me what it was, but I'm in my 80s now and I can't say I've ever done anything special. I tried to do what was right, to be a good husband and father, and to help our church, but did I miss something? - P.L.
A: No, not necessarily; maybe you were doing exactly what God wanted you to do. God wants us to be faithful in whatever tasks He sets before us - including the ordinary responsibilities of life (although they aren't "ordinary" in His eyes).
Do you remember Joseph, the husband of Jesus' mother, Mary? As far as most people were concerned, Joseph was just an ordinary man who never did anything special in life. He and Mary were poor, and after they settled in Nazareth Joseph spent the rest of his life as a humble carpenter (see Matthew 13:55). He never preached or did missionary work; he simply raised his family and did his job to the best of his ability.
But how did God see Joseph? Think of it: Out of all the families in the world, God entrusted His Son to Mary and Joseph. God knew Joseph would be the perfect father for Jesus (although in reality God was Jesus' father, not Joseph). Because of Mary and Joseph's faithfulness, "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52).
Thank God for the responsibilities He gave you. Thank Him too for His forgiveness when you fell short. But thank Him most of all for Jesus Christ, and that someday soon you will go to be with Him in Heaven if you have trusted Him as your Lord and Savior.