Note: This was my Icebreaker Speech for the Toastmasters’ Club, which I just joined a few weeks ago. The assignment was to prepare a speech to introduce myself.
Everything is a means to an end.
The thought has been running in my head in the last three weeks. Without sounding overly dramatic, I think this is most spectacular epiphany I’ve had in my entire life so far. Now, I’ve known and heard this idea my entire life, but I don’t think it really hit me full force until three weeks ago.
It is this: that everything I have, everything I am going through and will be going through, everything I should do – all of this – is a means to an end. Everything is a means to an end.
This idea revolutionized me, because I am naturally… well, I am naturally selfish and self-serving.
I remember when I was younger and I had just started college:
I joined the Debate Society even though the practices ran late into the night. My parents were furious – I was only sixteen and I was coming home at 10pm?! Oh, how I fought with my parents for this. I remember yelling at my mom with all the teenage angst I could muster, “Ma, college na ‘ko!”
Eventually they relented, as long as I always texted them when I was going home.
But why did I want to join the Debate Society so badly? Because they were an elite group in campus. I told people I just wanted “to improve my speaking skills”, but actually, I wanted more of the association.
I also volunteered as a Peer Facilitator, offering my time to “shepherd” the freshmen. People saw the sacrificial side to this, and I exploited it by not telling them otherwise. Actually, I just wanted influence and popularity.
Then I joined a Choir associated with the Philippine Madrigal Singers. The practices took a lot of time, but I told people the quality of vocal training was worth it. Actually, I thought it would be a great way to get connections for when I decided to seriously pursue Music as a vocation.
These are just some of them, but these things – the Debate Society, the Peer Facilitators, the Choir – they were all a means to some end I had in mind.
And guess what happened? I kid you not: the Debate Society got disbanded. The Peer Facilitators group was dissolved. And I got kicked out of the Choir.
That was a very, very humbling period in my life.
I thought I’d learned enough, until very recently.
Last year I began a lot of things. I began new relationships, new pursuits. But again, I began these things with a different end in mind.
Towards the end of last year and early this year, some very painful and humbling things happened: a very close friend died. She is believed to have committed suicide. And yes, the pain was unbelievable.
Then early this year, I had my heart broken when I got rejected from a job I wanted so badly and prayed for so hard.
It was a very stinging lesson, and I belatedly realized – I held on too much on relationships. And I made an idol of an idea of what God wanted for me.
But there is redemption, even for a hard-headed girl like me.
In the last few weeks I’ve been meditating on what my ultimate end could be, what my purpose could be. I’ve been telling myself over and over, like a mantra, that “there is a reason for this.” There has to be a reason for all this!
I was created with a specific purpose. I was designed for specific roles I am meant to fulfill in my lifetime. It is with these things in mind that I look to the future.
I recently joined an amazing Life Coaching Group called The Significant Woman, and we’ve been talking about design. God designed me and ingrained in me some passions and values that are essential to who I am.
Things like Creativity and the Arts, how I must have avenues for expression. Or my desire to defend Truth, and let others see Truth about Life and God. Or most importantly, my desire to bring the Truth about God to people around the world who have never heard of it.
It scares me, actually. Thinking of the future, and how inadequate and immature I am. It scares me to think of these things, because I cannot see how I can ever be prepared, or be adequate, or be mature enough. Truth be told, it rocks me to the core of my being.
But I press forward, because something else scares me. What do I fear more than that?
In the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Aragorn asks Eowyn the same question. “What do you fear, lady?”
I love her answer, because it resonates within me so deeply.
So Aragorn asks her, “What do you fear, lady?”
And she replies, “A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
Everything is a means to an ultimate end, and mine is to accomplish deeds for my Creator. And no matter how small or seemingly insignificant these deeds are, if they are accomplished well, then these deeds are great.
This, I believe, is my ultimate end.
What do you think your ultimate end or purpose is? Is it possible to find out? Or what do you think about all this? Tell me in the comments below. 🙂