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John Bressler -- Are you just an accident? No!
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John Bressler

Dr. Wesley Weatherhead, a great theologian and pastor, said, "There are two days in every life. The first day is the day you are born and the next day is when you find out why." I wish I had said that. I remember vividly when I was asking a class about their purpose and if they were no more than a breath of air, a passing fancy or even an accident. As I waited for some response, I noticed a young man making a call on his cell phone. I asked, "What in the world are you doing?" He spoke on his phone and asked, "Mom. Was I an accident?" You don't want to know my reply.

One of the most unlikely patriarchs in the Bible is our old friend Moses. Some may not realize that he was abandoned, found and raised royally, killed a stranger and fled from arrest. "Yeah, but God called him anyway." True. When he finally received his marching orders from God, his response was not so heroic. "They won't believe me. I am not eloquent. Lord, please send someone else." If Moses had not been blessed with brother Aaron, who had the gift of persuasion, who knows where those Jews would have wandered.'"

Most will remember Jeremiah, perhaps no older than a teenager when God called him, who was most likely scared to death. "Lord! I am just a kid!"

Whether we like it or not, I truly believe that each of us has been chosen by God for a sterling purpose that only you or I can accomplish. None is an accident in time and none is without a task to complete.

The great frustration seems to be that there are so many times when we all feel we are greater than who we are and what we are doing but just don't know which way to turn. I believe it was the singer Peggy Lee who left the world with a song that is still popular, "Is That All There Is?" It was as though she were asking, "I did this. What's next? What I did was just a passing moment. I feel empty. Is there nothing more to life than emptiness?"

Last week, during a break in our choir practice, I turned to a very gifted musician, still in college, and asked, "When did you know you were to be a musician?"

Like many folks, he gave me an odd look, thought for a moment and answered, "I believe it was in junior high. I knew I wanted to be a band director. It was just great!" The truly great thing is that he has never let that epiphany go. He is a musician and he has been working, studying and preparing for that day when a pile of young students will gather on the stage or on the field and wait for him to raise his baton, grin at some and snarl at most, and give the downbeat for that first concert or that first march. It will be at that moment in time when he will realize, completely, "I am the band director!" Adam, I hope I can be there for the first time!

What is our calling, our vocation, our destiny? It may not be to sit in power, climb Mt. Everest, conquer the Amazon or discover the cure. Perhaps, we have been chosen to be the best mom or dad we can be, the hardest working person on the assembly line, the ones who vote yes in a heated debate, or better yet, one of the many nameless folk who just live a life that is honest, true, gentle, loving, kind, moral and missed when we pass on to what God has planned for us in eternity.

Are you an accident? Not on your life!


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