I am a person who will passionately pursue what interests me to the deepest depths and highest summit. In this seeker’s journey of more than a decade, I have come to believe in one crucial thing. That is that we are all born into this world with a unique destiny. What a cliché, right? But wait… I have also come to believe that this destiny is non-negotiable! We absolutely cannot change it. We can run away from it, but we can neither change our destiny nor shake it off. It follows you like a shadow. If you are not on track, it continually reminds you something is not quite right. If you are on track, you can feel destiny’s pat on the back by absolute joie de vivre.
Let’s take Jonah – he was the guy who got swallowed up by the big fish. What’s his story? Jonah’s calling or destiny was to get to Ninevah and tell the people not to misbehave, and if they don’t fix their ways, destruction was waiting for them. Now Jonah didn’t want to do that. He had excellent reasons – the Ninevites’ favorite pastime was to attack and pillage the Jews. Jonah hated the Ninevites. He would have been quite happy to see them turn to dust. So Jonah refused his ‘calling,’ got into a boat going the opposite direction, and faced the storm. Jonah’s God was not about to let him forget his calling, or in other words – destiny.
Jonah realized the storm was the consequence of his stubbornness. He asked the others to throw him overboard to appease the storm and willingly sacrificed himself for the others’ sake. The fish swallowed him up, and Jonah was in the depths of despair. He finally repented and agreed to fulfill his calling, and so the fish spat him out onto dry land. Jonah does his job. He was not happy about saving the Ninevites, but I am sure he was delighted to be alive.
What’s this story all about? I see this as missing the mark on destiny. There is a terrible danger in missing the mark. We face the storm. And then come to the sacrifices, the despair, and darkness. We lose our way for many reasons – laziness tops the list. (In fact, in the story, Jonah was always found lying down or sleeping!) It is easier not to do something than to do something. Laziness also makes us hide behind religious dogma. For example, a woman can say that her role is to be a wife and mother, and so working is not an option. Of course, there must be millions of people whose sole purpose is this. I just haven’t met them yet. However, I have met countless women who are pretenders. Some because of laziness, others because of genuinely believing that is what their ‘god’ wants. Or it is just ‘karma.’ These people are easy to spot. Sweet on top, sour inside. Spouses, children, friends, and neighbors are at the receiving end of their unfulfilled ambitions.
So we forget our destiny and look for more accessible paths. The storm is inevitable the moment we jump track. Destiny will always remember you.
The world is quick to attribute the ensuing struggle and despair to the suffering we all face. This kind of blanket explanation is the worst form of excuse taught to every generation. Because we are taught that human suffering is inevitable, we learn to see it as the all-encompassing excuse for all kinds of pain. But pain and suffering can be divided into two main categories. It can be unavoidable – such as natural disasters, famine, etc. Also, it can be a direct consequence of our decisions.
Human nature is such, that we will happily attribute our suffering to the former category rather than take responsibility for it.
So when the storm hits, people pray, go days without food, light candles, walk around in circles without realizing, or without acknowledging, that they have jumped the track. All they need to do is repent, which means turning around and getting back on the path of their true calling.
Jonah had to drown in the depths of despair before he decided enough is enough. Luckily he didn’t wait until it was too late – yes, there is a point of no return. It is called ‘death.’
Some of us who are in the storm make bad choices over and over again. We take comfort in alcohol, drugs, or turn to crime. To become corrupted is the only real misfortune in life. Some die without ever emerging from the belly of the fish. They never shake hands with their destiny – a wasted life.
Others realize their situation is a kick in the rear-end and turn around to be immediately spit out by the fish – into glorious light and solid ground. They fix their lives to pursue their destiny, which is the only purpose each one has – to fulfill their destiny.
We are gifted in unique ways. That gift is like a gem that we hold tightly in our hands as we are born. If polished well, that gem has the capability to shine so brightly as to light up the whole world! Only a few of us will reach full brilliance. Most of us will keep it in tightly clenched fists, fearing its loss or shackled by the limitations of belief systems.
We have only one life that we are conscious of living. That is this one. We all miss the mark at times. But understand the consequent storm for what it is and turn around quickly. The universe or god – whatever you choose, will never leave you nor forsake you if you only stick to the plan and pursue your true calling. Everything else is an utter waste of time.
Watch the video about making friends with your destiny :