"I must have a purpose to fulfill".
I have heard this comment a few times recently. People who have survived illness or accident against the odds.
The implication is that God intervened in a situation that should have resulted in death, saving the life of the person in danger.
The conclusion being; God has done this because he wants that person to perform a function, carry out an activity, fulfill a duty or task and that this future role is special and somehow unique for that person, and therefore it was worth God's trouble to intervene.
I question this train of thought.
Firstly, does God intervene only when it is worth his while?
Secondly, do these people actually pursue and fulfill these divinely ordained activities? Do they realize at a later point in their life that this was why God saved them, and then, having completed the task, do they die soon afterwards?
What if God chooses, simply out of his pure love, to intervene and save a persons life, not because they are special, not because they have an outstanding task ahead, but simply so that they can go on enjoying the wonderful gift of life and relationships that God gives to all of us?
What if every single one of us has a purpose to fulfill, whether or not we have been saved from the jaws of death?
What if that purpose is a lot more ordinary than those portrayed in blockbuster movies.
Caring for our loved ones, honoring our word, turning up for work, doing our jobs honestly and carefully, sharing our thoughts and wisdom with those we love, listening to those who need our time, sharing our faith in simple ways, praying for others, mowing the lawn, doing our homework, passing exams?
What if we never achieve anything that is "outstanding"?
We can pretend that we are doing God a favour. I sometimes find myself patting myself on the back for having achieved some worldly goal. Having held back from some habitual sin. Having held my tongue in an argument.
What about the other thousand times I didn't?
If I somehow think that one current good day makes up for the many years of failure then I am deluded.
But grace has appeared.
In and through God's grace, we are truly able to forget about the past and enjoy the present knowing that God has atoned for all our sins. And we can die peacefully, even if we have not achieved any more than a few good days with less arguments.
There is only one redeemer.
Praise be to our Lord, Jesus Christ.