Have You Found Your Purpose?
Finding Your Calling!
Commencing My Spiritual Journey
It feels wrong to suppose that there are moments in life when one is not on a spiritual journey. If life is a journey, and humans are both physical and spiritual beings, it suffices to say that humans begin their spiritual journey from the time they are born. Whether this journey ends or not, can only be confirmed by those that have crossed the gulf between life and death. My inclination is that it is a mystery.
I do not claim to fully understand my sense of calling and spiritual vocation at this point in my life. That would be quite a stretch. What I feel confident about is that I see myself as a pastor of a congregation, a family man, a leader of a humanitarian organization, and aspiring to be an educator in theology. What has formed and informed my spirituality is basically all my life experiences.
“The World is unfair, full of evil and nothing can change it,” was my firm perception of life for many years. I could not fathom a ‘God of love’ yet so uncaring. I never understood why God could tolerate chaos and claim to be all powerful. It was much easier for me to believe that God never loved or was not in charge, and thus not all powerful.
However, an extraordinary encounter with a nine year old Zambian boy named Lewis changed my life. Lewis was an orphan living in extreme poverty with his ailing grandmother in Lusaka, Zambia. Both his parents had succumbed to AIDS. In a disheartening twist of fate, Lewis was an inmate. Yes, a prison inmate in an adult prison awaiting his trial indefinitely. The boy suffered abuse at the hands of both law enforcement officers and hardcore criminals.
His only crime was street vending, a misdemeanor whose penalty was a simple fine. But Lewis could not afford it, so he was remanded in prison. His ailing grandmother had no idea where her grandchild was. Lewis didn't even fully understand why he was in prison.
When I looked into Lewis’ eyes, I will never forget the pure terror I saw in this young boys eyes. The kid had been brutally traumatized. I was extremely infuriated with God. How could God, the self-proclaimed almighty, allow such an unconscionable thing to happen to an innocent boy, who was helping his grandmother to sell peanuts for survival? How could I make sense out of God’s “You reap what you sow,” message? Clearly Lewis did not sow the seeds of this brutality he was subjected to.
Hit By Reality
I left those prison walls sobbing. It was during this intense moment of reflection that I remembered a scripture that my grandmother loved to quote. “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” It suddenly dawned on me, that God depends on people to fulfill God’s will on earth. Nothing on earth ever happens without human involvement.
I brought Lewis’ case to the attention of the Human Rights Commission, and through their influence, the next day, the ‘gates of hell’ were unlocked and Lewis walked out a free boy. From that moment, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I would dedicate my life to helping others like Lewis. So, I started volunteering with various organizations that worked to protect children and promote their rights.