A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean, but it contributes to the body of water that eventually flows into the ocean.
Tributaries are known to forge a variety of paths on their way to a bigger river. Never do they travel in a straight line, they encounter twists and turns as they try to forge their way past animals, plants, rocks, and other obstacles on their path. They are on a mission to join another river, which will be their passage to the vast Ocean.
The activities of our lives are like tributaries; we follow a variety of paths with the hope and faith that they will lead us to our purpose. If our actions do not nurture the tributaries, there will be nothing to drive them forward to feed the bigger vision, and eventually it will dry out. Our actions are the key elements that contribute immensely to the flow of our life tributaries.
A good example is the River Thames, with its eight main tributaries – Leach, Churn, Coln, Windrush, Kennet, Evenlode, Ock and Loddon and fifty-one tributaries in total. Each one plays a crucial role to help the River Thames flow consistently.
The same way these rivers and brooks play a part to help River Thames flow, so do the four principal tributaries of our lives urge us towards our divine purpose. Many people discount one or more of these tributaries, be reminded that each of them has a part to play in our lives.
Life is a mass of ebbs and flow, and these four key tributaries lead us to our true purpose.
There are four key tributaries in our lives that we have to nurture:
Passion – is defined as a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. Some of us are fond of music, prayer, sports, arts, fashion, parenting or cars. Whatever we are passionate about we have to start seeing it as a tributary that will lead us to our true purpose. We need to pay more attention to the things that draw us in. The key to deriving benefit and value from our passion is to identify the dominant one that plays the most significant role in our lives. Once we identify this, we have to ignite this passion by giving it the energy it requires to be an effective form of exchange in the marketplace.
Mission – an important goal or purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction or calling. We all have a mission to fulfil here on earth – whether we believe it or not. That is why God commissioned the talents and skills we have into our hands. It is for us to package what we have to accomplish a unique goal or purpose by being a solution provider. The best way to showcase your capability is to maximise the use of your God-given talents.
Vocation – a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career, which is usually, based more on ability than skill. We all engage in a vocation at a given time in our lives.
Profession – this is defined as the career one opts for, getting extensive training and acquiring unique skills to become eligible to do the job.
Both indicate the career or the occupation through which an individual makes a livelihood. It can be as an accountant, nurse, bricklayer, taxi driver, teacher, IT technician, business owner or charity worker.
Our path to purpose can be determined by our educational background, experience or circumstances. That vocation could lead to a professional career, or it could result in the start-up of a viable business.
What we do with the knowledge we glean is up to us. Though vocation and profession have similar meaning, vocation has a broader term. The profession requires training and qualification whereas vocation is the innate ability of an individual towards a particular occupation.
Many of us ignore the daily occurrences in our lives because we are waiting for that one big miracle that will lead us to our destiny. Unknown to many, it is those daily steps we take that lead us to our destiny. The steps are the tributaries that flow into the big ocean of purpose.
Do not be quick to stop a tributary in your life because it does not look like where you want to go. Do not quit that job just yet, disregard that mission or ignore the talent that is crying out for attention. We should never discount any of these tributaries because they are meant to serve a purpose in our lives. Whether you are facing unique favour in your professional career or business, yet to get that promotion or just finished college; it is important that you nurture every phase of life where you find yourself. Be discerning and be in tune with your journey, so you clearly understand what you are meant to do with the tributaries in your life.
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Packaging passion with purpose.