May 26, 2019

God Has a Purpose for Each of Us

I have always enjoyed the sport of fishing. I think I was born with a fishing pole in my hand.

Imagine that you have gone fishing on a picture perfect summer’s day. The weather is warm. There’s not a cloud in the sky. And you are standing on the shore of a beautiful mountain stream. The mountain scenery that surrounds you is absolutely spectacular; and you have just caught a splendid mountain trout.

You lay the trout on the soft lush grass that lines this beautiful mountain stream. Now you would think that any living creature would thrive in such an ideal setting. But common sense will tell you that in order for that trout to thrive, it belongs in the water. The surroundings may be beautiful, but that trout cannot be all that God created it to be when it is out of the water. Even if that trout tried to convince itself that it truly liked the lush green grass and the magnificent mountain scenery, deep down inside it would know that it could never thrive in that environment. In fact, even if it tried to adjust to it, it would most certainly perish.

In the Gospel of Matthew (4:12-23), we recall the events surrounding the very beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. And one of His first actions is the calling of His first apostles, Peter, Andrew, James and John. If you were to study the life of these four men, you would find that this single event, this calling, literally defines the rest of their earthly lives. From this moment forward, their mission in life becomes abundantly clear.

Every person on the face of this earth was created for a purpose. Every one of us has a calling in life. God is calling me, and God is calling you, just as surely as He called Peter, Andrew, James and John. But occasionally some of us struggle to find our purpose in life or to hear God’s call.

Most of the time life’s events will determine our own personal situation. We are where we are and we find fulfillment in that. In which case we can be sure that we are exactly where God wants us to be, doing exactly what God wants us to do.

But sometimes we may find ourselves feeling like that proverbial fish out of water. We may feel uncomfortable with our surroundings or with the situation that we find ourselves to be in. It is at those times that we need to listen to that still small voice. What is it that is making me feel so uncomfortable? Does the situation I find myself to be in put me in conflict with my own personal values, gifts and talents?

When we find ourselves in that situation, we need to listen to our feelings and emotions because these can not only help save us from impending dangers, but also help to guide us to fulfilling our God given destiny and purpose in life.

God has a calling and a purpose for each and every one of us. We all possess our own personal and unique set of values, gifts and talents. It is important for us to remember that we have been given these things not solely for our own personal pleasure and enjoyment, but more importantly they help us to fulfill what God desires to accomplish through us.

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Written by
Deacon Donald Cox

REVEREND MR. DONALD COX is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On June 9, 1979, Deacon Don was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence John Cardinal Dearden, an important American Father of the Second Vatican Council. He is currently assigned to St. Cornelius parish in Dryden, Michigan. Married and the father of three children and grandfather to four children, Deacon Don was born and raised in Detroit, and educated at St. Brigid Elementary School, Mackenzie High School, and Lawrence Technological University. His theological training was taken at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

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Written by Deacon Donald Cox