Celebrating The Gift Of Life

30 Oct

“There are two great days in a person’s life — the day we are born and the day we discover why.”  ~ William Barclay

Today is my birthday. If you want to know, today I am (gasp) sixty-six years old.  To a young person, that’s old.  I can remember thinking about age when I was very young.  At that time, anyone over eighteen was an adult, anyone over twenty-five was a senior citizen, and anyone over forty was, well, extremely old.  A fossil, you might say.

Of course, as I got older, I modified those definitions.  Now, I’m to the point that one hundred is not really old.  My grandmother died at the age of a hundred and two and while she may have been old chronologically, she was still a young person at heart in my eyes.

Age affects people differently.  Some abhor the thought of aging.  Some look forward to becoming older.  All people realize that, with the passing of years, age is inevitable.  The bigger difference is how we respond to it.

Barclay throws in an important thought to the whole concept of aging.  We were given the gift of life when we were conceived.  But many of us struggle to answer the question for ourselves that is crucial: why were we born?  What purpose is our life supposed to embrace?

When we ask that question, we get into the whole thought of vocation.  God created us in His image and likeness.  He set a seal upon our hearts.  He also calls us to particular walks of life.  Our lives will never truly be complete until we can find our purpose.

We may all know people who have jobs that bring them a lot of recognition and a lot of wealth.  However, when we have a chance to get to know them, we discover that they are very unhappy.  They don’t like their job.  They dread going to work.  The recognition and wealth doesn’t fulfill them.  I would say the reason is that they never discovered their true purpose.

When God calls us to a particular walk of life — whatever that might be — and we embrace His call, we will always be fulfilled.  God doesn’t desire us to be unhappy.  He does not want us to feel unfulfilled.  If we do His work, no matter how difficult or messy it might get, we will always have a joy in our heart that helps us to carry on.

I think I discovered why I was born the day that I embraced the call to priesthood.  I still ask God to help me live the call as faithfully as possible and every day, every year, I am given more opportunity to do so. I thank Him for creating me and I hope that I am getting it right.

FAITH ACTIONAsk God to give you the grace you need to accept His will for your life.  If you know someone who is struggling to find their way in life, point out their gifts and give them your support.