At the end of a 5 1/2 day Quest event, we stopped for lunch in Central Texas and enjoyed the BBQ. One of the men who I had met just the week before had come through the line towards the end and had just sat down to eat. I was done eating and sat down next to him and asked him what he does for a living in the Texas city where he lives.
We intentionally avoided that question as we worked through the Quest because that’s a typical starting and stopping point for conversations between men. It’s a safe but usually erroneous identification of who we are; an illusory definition of an aspect of our identity. We avoid it because its usully nothing more than what we do. We are somebody much more than the profession we engage in to generate income.
He told me of his current profession without any enthusiasm or even interest in the declaration. He followed up with “I’m not sure that I even like it,” so I asked him what he does like. That started a conversation about people and passions as he told me about inner city work he did. He started to show some signs of life as he described the passions which were a part of who he is and the times that he has been able to engage in those things.
I told him that I get a chance to work with people who are often without other options as a court appointed lawyer. We shared stories of the satisfaction that comes with connecting with people who are rejected. The conversation picked up momentum and my friend was now fully engaged and obviously interested.
The young man offered “Do you see how I am looking you in the eye right now and smiling as we talk about this? I never do that when I talk about my current job; I’m even kind of embarrassed. You know, I used to think about going to law school and wanted to talk to you about it when I found out you were a lawyer. I’m not sure if I have good enough grades to get into law school and I kind of just figured this question of what I am going to do would go unanswered for now.”
Part of what he was seeking on this Quest was answers from deep down within his spirit as to “why am I here?” Here we were within 3 hours from the end of this incredible and unique time away to explore the depths of Life and the Answer was speaking to his spirit and saying to him “you have a purpose which was created within you.” He was coming alive in the recognition of purpose and I was encouraged by the Faithfulness of the Answer to our questions.
We are created with purpose; our healthy and creative desires are as much a part of us as the color of our eyes or the design of our fingerprints. When they are stirred and awakened, the hurdles are not as daunting because the destination is calling more vividly than the obstacles can distort. We set our eyes on the destiny from the Life which testifies within us to drive us towards our goal which is eternal.