William Wilberforce, one of the youngest MPs (Member of Parliament) in English history, stands out as one who realized purpose. In collaboration with his friend William Pitt (who became Prime Minister), and a few others such as Thomas Clarkson and Olaudah Equiano, he was able to pull down the stronghold of the slavery institution in the whole of the British Empire. Yes, he fought tooth and nail, gave it no just his best but his all (in spite of his poor health condition), and persevered until the very end, the day the Speaker of the House spoke these beautiful words:
“I declare the Bill of Abolition of the Slavery Trade be passed.”
However, by staking his life for the abolitionist cause, not giving up when they recorded a woeful loss on their first outing on the floor of parliament, after the backbreaking hard work put into the collection of thousands of evidences and masterfully crafting their case, and by pressing all the more harder until success was recorded, he got something that very few people ever get to have: “fulfillment.” And no one captured the picture fine enough than the elderly Lord Charles Fox, who took it upon himself to give a vote of thanks after Wilber’s bill scaled through. He said:
“When people speak of great men, they think of men like Napoleon, men of violence; rarely do they think of peaceful men. In contrast to the reception they’d receive when they return home from their battles, Napoleon would arrive in pomp and in power, the man who’s achieved the very summit of earthly ambition, and yet his dreams would be haunted by the oppressions of war; William Wilberforce, however, will return to his family, lay his head on his pillow, and remember that slave trade is no more.”
Frankly, purpose is everything, and the realization of it is a duty everyone must discharge. For ‘Wilber,’ it was to fight social injustice and oppression. He found it. Kept at it. Realized it. And knew fulfillment afterwards.
Given that the challenge that confronts many a person is discovering their purpose, the following tips would do. I gleaned them from being in the audience of Barrister Cosmos Okolo.
- Seek revelation:
God created everyone with purpose, and he intended that all men and women should live purpose driven lives. If you haven’t found yours, then you can trust that the creator can reveal it to you. The Holy Ghost is the No.1 unveiler of purpose; “Seek and you shall find.”
- Study your anger:
Don’t ignore your anger because it carries some revelation about you with it. Anger reveals your anointing. To say the least, the problem that provokes you the most is actually saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
- Compassion is a signpost to purpose:
Mind you, compassion is superior to pity. While pity merely requires you to feel sober over the poor condition of another, compassion moves you to do something about that condition. The word itself actually comes from Latin words that mean ‘to suffer with another.’ So, what is that need around you that makes you cry? Mark this: “If nothing is bothering you, then be sure you will not cross the border of mediocrity.”
- Take the stress test:
Note that God does not call a person into stress; his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Every assignment of His is eased by grace; grace being that which makes easy what would naturally have been difficult. So, where do you find God’s grace super-abundantly at work in your life? Knowing this is important because the end of purpose is peace and fulfillment – not stress. What is that thing you do effortlessly?
- Embark on a voyage of discovery of what you can die for:
Martin Luther King Jr. was so sure about his call to civil rights activism that he was very willing to die in pursuit of it – his purpose. He even likened himself to the biblical Moses by saying: “I’ve been to the mountaintop; I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there myself, but I’m sure we’ll get there.” And he was killed the very next day. Frankly, anyone who’s yet to discover what he/she can die for is yet to know why he/she was created. Yes, anything that can take a man to the cross isn’t ordinary.