Everything that happens was meant to happen. Nothing happens by chance, or accident, bad luck or misfortune. Everyone who enters the world stage, comes with a purpose. No individual is without a purpose for life.
Some discover that life purpose early while others take longer and some even never find it and their lives are unfulfilled. Often too, some go into directions that were not designed for them and they too end up unfulfilled, wasted and frustrated. It is not uncommon, for example, for parents to guide their children into careers, professions and occupations that are projections of the parents and not necessarily the children’s call in life. Many, too, are influenced by society, and take paths that do not reflect their true calling.
Resistance is a very common reaction to the call or the challenge to pursue one’s given life purpose. Excuses are among the best examples of resistance.
Think of these three examples from the Bible: Jeremiah reacted with these words: “I don’t know how to speak; I am only a boy” (1:6). Moses before him, said, “Who am I?” (Ex.3:11). Later he would expound that with these words: “I have never been eloquent…I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Ex. 4:10). Then there was Gideon in Judges 6:15 whose excuse was: “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family”.
Excuses serve to counter the calling. Thus we say: “I am not trained for that”. Other times we say: “I am just not ready”. Still, other times we may say: “That is not for me! Others have tried it and failed”. These are excuses from within us, and there are also counter-forces from without. Family members may say: “You are not cut out for that”, or “Oh, no! That is not for you”, and so on.
Our discipline is to listen to that inner voice. In Jeremiah’s case, it was God’s voice saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (1:4). To know as used in the Hebrew Bible means to have intimate knowledge.
In all the three examples, there is also an assurance, a promise: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you”. How come Jeremiah gained the nickname, “the weeping prophet”? How come Moses was driven to lament: “why did you put this burden on me”?