The thought of 2017 coming to an end brings up a variety of mixed emotions. I am grateful for the opportunity to be alive and the many blessings that come along with that, I think that’s first and foremost. I am happy that I’ve been able to accomplish some of the things I had planned at the end of 2016 and that I have just started on some. But at the same time, looking back at the task orientated life I live, I recognise that I have not yet begun to live. This troubles me.
I am committed to my family vision – you know, being the kind of husband my wife needs as God gives me understanding daily and creating the right idea of what a man is – should be and could be – to my daughter. I am committed to making my parents, my family and greater community proud. I am committed to being an asset to any organisation I work for. Flaws and all, I have committed my loyalty.
All of these commitments are good and worth investing time and other resources on. But at the same time, all these commitments do not prove to me that I am alive.
These are roles that any man can do. To live means to be.
My parents could have another son. My siblings have one another. My wife can remarry. Another man can step up to the calling of being a father to my darling daughter. My friends can forget about me and my employer can find another man to do what I do. Like any human being, I am dispensable in all of these.
So who am I when I am not in character performing my duty in any of these roles?
See, at my core is my life’s work and I feel like all that I have been doing and all that I have been through is directing me to a moment I was created for. Most importantly, I think it is directing me to pay attention to the work in my soul.
But at the same time, all that I have been doing feels as if it will pull me away from that very moment where my giftings, experiences, proclivities, learning and purpose are supposed to meet at that intersection called destiny. There is an unceasing tussle in my mind of where I should be and what I should be doing in order to ensure that when my time comes, I am ready.
I understand that purpose is a journey of a million experiences coming together to form single steps to destiny. But I also understand that without the right compass my experiences can lead me astray. I argue, that roles are important as I am expected to contribute to the community I am part of but being who I was created to be has the potential to elevate the status of all the roles that I play by giving me the opportunity to contribute to the greater cycle of life.
According to me, to live means to allow what resides on the inside of me the right to see and be seen by the world. This is the only way future generations will ever know that I came this way – not a certificate of being an employee of the month. But a life that impacted humanity and ultimately moved the world, intentionally.
I am not afraid to die. I respect death. But I am afraid of being separated from this life without never ever giving myself the permission to live. I am afraid of dying having perfected the roles I accepted with age and stage but dismally failing in the timeless work I was created for. God knows this thought takes all the sleep away from my eyes.
The late Dr Myles Munroe once remarked,
“We are not supposed to die old. But we are supposed to die empty.”
This is the kind of departure I have in mind. One without regret because I know I have emptied myself out on to others and they naturally feel obliged to tell their generations about the mark I left in the universe.
I am at a place – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially and otherwise – in my life where I feel like it’s time to emancipate my potential from the unending demand of being in a role. With God’s blessing, 2018 will be a time to be biased in favour of being alive.