"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when
they are old they will not turn from it."
they are old they will not turn from it."
Jack, Jake & Bryce
Each year at Columbus Academy the junior class delivers their "Junior Speech" to the "Upper School", faculty and family members. Each student begins to work on their speech with their junior counselor at the end of their sophomore year. On March 11th Bryce, along with Jake Tuckermen and Jack Lent, gave their speeches. Jake spoke on the topic of dealing with your personal fears and Jack spoke about being an introvert and how that affects how you learn and how your perceived. Bryce spoke on finding your purpose in life. Father or not, I was impressed. Very. Below are the words of my son in one of the biggest days of his early life. Tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of mybabyroc (3.23.10). What better way to celebrate than to share the expressed words of one of my children? Bryce, I'm so very proud of you and love you more than words can express. I'm lucky to be your Dad.
Bryce Coleman Bailey
(Ask Siri: “Siri, What is Purpose?”)
I believe purpose to be the reason for which something exists, is done, made, or used. Therefore, knowing the purpose of “something” seems necessary to ensure it is used properly and to its full potential. On the surface, it seems easy to determine the purpose of something. We as a society have access to a vast amount of information via the Internet. The excess of information gives many the ability to take advantage of such tools as Google, Wikipedia, or in some instances, Siri, even though Siri seems to be the least dependable of the three.
Sorry Apple, you’re not great at everything.
And though finding a purpose within a company or industry may be difficult, many find it equally difficult to discover and understand their life’s purpose.
When it comes to life, as I’ve learned already, few things are easy. A large number of people spend a lifetime searching for direction and answers to a variety of life’s questions, only to be left feeling empty with their findings. Why is this? I don’t profess to have all the answers, and to be truthful I don’t even know all the correct questions to ask, but the one thing I’ve come to understand is the importance of acknowledging the source; the Creator. Who better to ask why something was created, than to ask the one who created it? If purpose is defined as the reason something exists, shouldn’t the inventor be consulted on the purpose of his invention? It’s within the mind of the creator that reveals the true meaning of purpose.
Bryce & Austin
Since my freshman year, I began to ask myself what was I created for? I began to ask myself questions like; “Who I am and what do I want to with my life?” The answers to these questions have evolved over the years. As a child, I wanted nothing more than to be a Power Ranger. You got to admit, their uniforms were dope.
I used to tell my mother everyday, “I’m going to be the first black Power Ranger!”
Most people chose to be a fireman or police officer because of a burning desire within them to serve. Leave it to me to make it about fashion. I believe I have my parents to blame for this. But as I’ve gotten older my interests have changed, and I’m happy to say so has my reasons for pursuing them. I’ve outgrown my Power Ranger uniforms, and dressing up isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be.
I must say the direction of my thoughts have changed too. I often have thoughts about what God has in store for me and my future. As a Christian the “purpose question” has become more frequent and started to have more meaning, or should I say purpose. I realize that Christianity, for me, has a significant amount to do with purpose. God declares in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believe that God has a plan for me and that I need to seek his guidance to understand what His plan for me is.
But with this exciting new insight came doubt.
I began to wonder what if God’s plan didn’t match the plan I had for myself. Does that mean I give up my “new” dream of being an orthodontist or professional athlete and just wait for God’s plan to reveal itself to me? At this point I was confused about my purpose and started to question if anything I set out to be is even worth trying. In the Bible it says to trust the Lord; He always has a reason for doing something. Never in my life have I questioned God’s work, even when it seems necessary to do so, but now I have questions.
Bryce & Nana
I’ve been asking myself, is God’s will for my life the same as my will for my life? Then it dawned upon me the words I heard in my Dad’s car. One morning, as my Dad was driving me to school, he was listening to Pastor Charles Stanley on First Talk Radio. One thing that Rev. Stanley said that stood out to me was “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” You may not get immediate answers to the when’s, where’s, and whys, but always know, God has a plan for all those who chose to follow Him. There are three questions that my father told me to get answers to: Who am I? What do I believe? What is my purpose? I only knew the answer to one of those questions. I believe in God and that his son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins and because of this true eternal salvation is offered to me if I chose to accept it. I have not discovered the answers to the other two questions and that’s okay.
Just because I don’t know the answers now doesn’t mean I give up on what I want to become in life.
I’ve come to realize that your profession or occupation doesn’t necessarily have to be your purpose. God has given me gifts, that I did not earn, and the best way to honor him is to use those gifts to the best of my ability. Maybe that is part of my purpose. See, what I’ve learned is by praying to God and asking Him to reveal to me my purpose that He will do that very thing that He promised in His word. I do believe He will lead me in the right direction, giving me answers and guidance, and ultimately leading me to my life’s purpose. And whether I become a firefighter, police officer or a pro athlete and where those cool uniforms, or become an orthodontist and improve the face value of a new generation, I realize that the true understanding about my purpose has less to do with the destination and more to do with the journey.
Today I still stand before you with questions, but with more understanding.
Big Poppi, Bryce, & Nana
The big question for me isn’t “what if I don’t become what I’ve set out to become in life”, but whether I follow God’s direction, His will, for my life? Will I have more than just belief in God, but will I put all my faith and trust in Him? These are the real questions that will be answered someday. Throughout my life I’ve been taught the luxury of choice. God gives us “free will” to make choices, but along with that luxury of choice comes a tremendous responsibility. And it is with the choices we make we begin to shape who we become. As we are embarking upon another phase in our lives, what became relevant to me was the importance of choice and knowing my purpose. These to important components in your life begin to determine the path your life will take. Miles Monroe said, and I quote: "Being mindful of our choices can determine a great deal of what will occur in your life. Therefore, making a series of good choices can help you fulfill your purpose, but a series of bad ones can deter, and even prevent, you from fulfilling that purpose."
I felt like God had given me a sign when my mother told me she thought I would be wonderful asset to the dentistry profession. After already liking and having a deep interest in the profession to begin with, this only fueled my desire to become a dentist, specifically an orthodontist. As I grew older and more involved in my church, still with the plan of becoming an orthodontist, the question of this being my true purpose in life became increasingly relevant.
Overtime I’ve come to acknowledge that I don’t know exactly the answer to that question.
I am still learning and maturing, going through the “journey of life” not looking for a destination, but embracing the journey. I want to see where God takes me, and knowing he has something great in store for me gives me a tremendous amount of peace. It might be sports, it might be dentistry, maybe it will be Sports Dentistry, and it really doesn’t matter. What truly matters is my willingness to obey God’s will and direction for my life. I have the option to become one of many things out there in the world due to certain tools and opportunities God has provided me with, but it will ultimately be up to me to make good decisions and seek His will and direction for my life.
Mother & Son
This is the beginning of my journey.
I challenge you all here today to come one step closer in finding what your purpose is; some of us may already know, some not, but by giving it some thought, it can answer a lot of questions about life. The importance of my speech today is for us to begin the journey of discovering our purpose and making the right choices in life. In the end, ask yourself three questions; Who are you? What do you believe? And What is your purpose? Answer those three questions and you will be on your way to knowing what your purpose is in life.
bcb . 3.11.13
Suit & Tie . Justin Timberlake