A Gift to Give Your Child

The most important and lasting gifts that parents can give their
children have nothing to do with material things. For example, a top
priority for parents is to give the child, in the teen years, is a
sense of purpose; that is, to encourage him to discover his (or her)
calling in the Kingdom of God.

The sad fact is that most people go to their graves without ever
knowing why they were born in the first place. The popular way to find
one's niche in life is by trial and error, but rarely does this method
work. Herein lies the chief reason that so many adults are miserable
in their jobs.

Before your young person enrolls in college, encourage him to know why
he is going. Most new students think they will discover their
profession by attending, but too many do not. I, myself, graduated
with a degree in humanities, and I could not find a job I enjoyed, let
alone one that I was intended to be in.

Teach your child that the only way to find his calling is to ask, in
prayer. And one must ask and ask until an answer is given. Persistence
is essential.

But how does God answer? I have found two ways, but there must be many
others. One way is that the Lord will increase an existing desire of
the heart toward one pursuit, and another is that He may instill a
brand new one that seems to come from no-where. He has used both of
these for me.

Perhaps this introduction justifies a discussion of us all; that is,
how do we find out what we are supposed to do in this life? It is
never too late to obtain an answer.

Sometimes we are given an initial purpose that may change. In other
words, our calling may be for a season only and therefore destined to
be replaced by another at some point. In my case, I have been a
broadcaster, an editor, a publicist, a vice-president of a prominent
marketing company, a family therapist, a licensed psychologist, and a
priest. The last one is my final assignment, I am sure.

I am also certain that the earlier assignments did prepare me for my
present role. So if you are advanced in years and wonder if there
could be any options left, the answer is “yes”.

Also, our calling may be the way we make our living or it may be
completely unrelated. I have known powerfully gifted people whose
dynamic and productive ministries have had nothing to do with
generating income.

The most important thing to remember is that God has created all of us
as unique individuals with a life-path unlike anyone else's. Above
all, we must pursue His will for our lives, because His way is the
only one that provides for maximum fulfillment and joy.

Some of the mistakes we make in this journey are by accepting what our
parents think we should be, by pursuing the profession or occupation
of a parent, by either over-valuing our abilities or under-valuing
them, and by doing what we guess would be fun.

It may well be that we are destined to follow the occupational path of
a parent, or that assumption might be absolutely wrong—even tragically
mistaken. Any idea we have in this regard must be presented to God. We
cannot guess or even to what seem correct. The only safe way is to
follow directions.

Years ago, my son-in-law gave me Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life. My
reaction to reading it was that I thought everybody knew this. Since
that time I have discovered that few people understand Reverend
Warren's principles. His book was indeed needed. To my regret, I did
not write it myself 40 years ago.

Father Ewart is the author of AM I BAD? Recovering from Abuse (Loving
Healing Press) and is president of St. James the Elder Theological
Seminary, a low-cost distance-learning opportunity for all

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