I went to go visit my best friend and her three month old baby yesterday. The baby is beautiful, an absolute gift from God. Like all new parents, my friend and her husband are studying her every move and characteristic, trying to determine where she fits in their family. Whose eyes and nose does she have? Whose hair color? Where did she get that way she sticks out her bottom lip? I did the same thing when my own children were small, as my own parents did with me. Even now, I look in the mirror and see characteristics of different members of my family. We all want to know where we belong, where we fit in the bigger picture.
The same thing happens with our place in the world at large. We grow up and try to figure out where our path lies. What is our role in the big picture? We believe that God put us here for a reason, but what is that reason? What is the particular contribution that we have to bring to life on Earth? That’s a question that does not always have an easy answer. Some people are lucky. They seem to know from a very early age exactly what they were meant to do, who they were meant to be. For most of us, however, life is more of an unfolding; careers more temporary. I know the question of where I belong is one I ponder on a regular basis. I also wonder where my children’s lives will lead them. I know that God put them here for a reason, too.
So much in life seems left to chance, but as I have often heard it said, “There are no coincidences, only God-incidences.” So, then, I have to believe that the people we come across, the lives we touch, the jobs we do, all are part of some master plan. We have free will and obviously make choices about our lives, but God is there, working behind the scenes, helping to bring good out of the chaos. From the day that we are born, each one of us plays a role in so many people’s lives, often times in ways we never realize or imagine. We may never do something that goes down in the history books. We may never even make the local newspaper. Yet, our simple personal interactions can and do change other’s lives.
We all do have a role to play in this world. God made us all for a reason. We do need to pray to help figure out what that reason is, to help align our will with God’s will. Sometimes, the reason is not always evident (although sometimes in hindsight we can see it), but we need to trust that it is there, that our lives matter. We all do belong. We all have a place. God loves each and every one of us.