My answer to this question has been developing and changing my whole life. When I was a kid, the excitement of learning kept me going. I was and still am to a large degree inquisitive. There was always more to learn and that drove me to seek out answers to all kinds of questions.
In my teens and early twenties it was helping people. It was all about other people and what I could do to make their life better. This drove me into the helping professions: first psychology and then ministry.
In my thirties it was becoming an expert in practicing my field: innovating, trying new things…it was all very exciting to start things and watch them grow.
Now that I am approaching my forties the answer is shifting once again. I think in the next phase of my life it is going to have something to do with mission: equipping people for evangelism, studying with non-Christians, and discipleship. I feel more and more compelled toward those areas in ways that weren’t ever as obvious as they are today.
With each successive stage I always wished I had gotten there sooner and learned the lessons earlier but each stage was necessary for the next and the effects and results are cumulative. No step can be skipped and no experience can go without loading into where my heart is at today. For that I am grateful to God for bringing me this far and look forward to seeing what He does with me on the next leg of the journey when I turn 40 in January!
What keeps you going? How has it changed over time?