When Anxiety Strikes in Fulfilling My Purpose

When God unfolded His purpose of my life four months ago, I grabbed all opportunities to fulfill it. He wanted me to be one of His media to spread His words through motivational speaking. I spoke in front of fifth graders who may probably have built their dreams already at an early age like I did and would perhaps need in the future those little inspirational thoughts I fed them with. I entered the world of spoken word poetry, one thing I have always wanted to give a shot since I learned about it, and tried my luck touching hearts with creativity. I accepted the offer of sharing my views and experiences about work life balance to employees of the most popular shopping mall in the country, and of being a co-facilitator for a seminar (I pray these two talks to push through).

I got overwhelmed by the sudden shower of opportunities and I really felt glad that God has blessing me more since I accepted the purpose. But the happiness- anxiety mix was indescribable when I finally got a speaking opportunity in line with my actual work. See, I had all the plans of leaving this work when I was searching for my life’s purpose but was scared of doing so since I wouldn’t have any  means of supporting my parents. But God told me to stay, while I fulfill my purpose. Great deal, huh? It was confusing. But I was starting to understand how these two (my job and my purpose) become in line with each other.

I am an engineer. A research and field engineer. Part of my work is to deploy our systems to actual environments- say, to provinces, in areas that are disaster vulnerable, without electricity and weak communication signals. And part of this deployment are interactions with the locals. This is one side of my work that I certainly take pride in- we have social impact. My team decided to conduct a seminar/ workshop to make our technology known to the prospect future users and I, being the socially- inclined member, was chosen to be the lecturer and facilitator.

Of course I was so excited. I wrote my script, had a mock presentation in front of my teammates, accepted the constructive criticisms, revised the script, printed my slides, arranged the seminar kits. I can say I, with the team, am prepared for it. But upon arriving in the deployment site, we found out that on the same day we planned on conducting the workshop, the local government unit will have a caravan. And of course all locals are more interested in activities that give, right there and then, free slippers, food, haircut, tooth extraction and perhaps money, than attending a probably boring seminar which can be useful to them months from now.

The team was saddened by the delay. But I wasn’t. The event was an eyeopener. I saw how people patiently lined up to get the freebies, how they willingly kissed the cheek of one of the politicians in exchange for money, how they were welcoming to the gifts of basic needs- none of which I ever experienced in my life. And I figured, I do not know these people. I do not know how they think and how they see life. They are no where similar with the ambitious fifth graders, the spoken word fans and poets nor the mall employees that I speak with. And I got really scared. How would I get these people love the technology we are trying to introduce? How would I make them embrace, or appreciate at least, the changes and the convenience of having our system around? How would I respond to completely unexpected questions by people I, apparently, know nothing about? And how would I react if in case they are unreceptive?Rejection isn’t one thing I’m good at. And I was dreaded by the idea that once they close their doors on me, my knocks would be left ignored and unanswered.

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I sat down inside our home in the island and that’s when I opened the Bible. I was asking God for strength of overcoming my fear that I am not the suitable person to speak with these people, that I, instead of making things easy, will start more confusion to the locals and headaches to the team. And this was what He told me. Luke 6: 32-35

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”

And it hit me. My God knows no constrictions, and so is my purpose. I do not choose who my audiences are, who I help nor who I serve. When I am called to speak, I will speak. And He is there to guide me, to give me the right words to say and to convey what is meant by Him to be conveyed. The seminar will push through within the month. And my anxiety now is taken over by excitement- that I can be an instrument again of His.

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