Our destiny is a secret of God gradually revealed. But it is our duty to ‘work out our destiny’, by obedience to the will of God.
When God calls someone to be his servant, he assigns him or her to a mission. Abraham’s call (“Leave your country… and I will make you a great nation” – Gen 12:1-2) and the election of the people of Israel to be a vehicle of God’s grace (see Rom 9-10) are identified as ‘mission’. God calls people to be instruments in his strategy of history.
God called Moses to deliver the Israelites from the yoke of Pharaoh. He called the prophet Jonas to go and preach repentance to the people of Nineveh. Jeremiah, when still a boy, was called to a very difficult and risky mission: “to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jr 1:4-10). In his three years of public ministry, Jesus called people to follow him. The Twelve Apostles started out as average men and ended up as great saints. St. Paul felt that from his birth he was ‘set apart’ for a great apostolic work.
God has his purpose of calling us into being. Our destiny is determined for us, not by us. We may be long unconscious of it. St. Paul never dreamed of his, while he sat at the feet of Gamaliel, nor while he was persecuting the Christians. The flashing light, the arrested journey, the audible voice, the blindness… were all accessories. The one important thing was the inward voice that brought conviction to his heart.
Every Christian has a divine call. There is no miracle to convey it. By the manifest claims that present themselves to us, by the discovery of our own powers and opportunities of service, Christ calls us to our life’s work. When the call becomes ‘clear and insistent’, to resist it is to kick against the pricks. You may refuse to follow it by your free-will, but at your great cost. I believe it is a disastrous superstition that keeps us back, while we wait for a more articulate voice.
If you are a Christian, know that mission is inherent in your very nature. If you neglect it, you deprive yourself of the most intimate relationship with the Lord and deny the world the greatest blessings. Jesus sent the apostles and the early Church to carry on his mission. Today he extends it by inviting you. Do not say “no”! I can guarantee that it is the best choice you can make.