Padre’s Corner: What is your mission?

St. Brendan’s Chapel at Stadacona.

Padre’s Corner: What is your mission?

By Lt(N) Stephen Cogswell
12 Wing Chaplain 

What is your mission?

It could be that one of the most important considerations you’ll give, as you turn the calendar into 2023, is just that; your mission. 

I know, I know, we’re accustomed to that terminology as analogous with service in the military. But what if you fine-tune that thinking into your every-day, every-week, kind of thinking? What is your personal mission? What is it that compels you to do what you do? In other words, what is that guiding, overarching assignment or desired end state that directs your everyday thoughts & ambitions?

Because it’s very easy to have a month, a year, or a season come and go without giving much thought to these more substantial questions. And before we know it, it’s rinse-repeat, and years can pass us by without ever thinking too deeply about it. It’s easy to succumb to the tyranny of the urgent at the expense of paying heed to the important. So what is your mission? Applying some introspection to your life, what is it that you would say matters most?

There’s a quote I stumbled upon recently that drills down on this very thing. Author Bob Goff puts it this way: “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”

What would you say matters most? 

Sometimes what matters most, dovetails nicely with our vocational work. For instance, if serving people who are injured or ill is what matters most, and your vocation happens to be a nurse, then that’s a beautiful marriage of vocation and mission. But often it will be necessary for our missional “itches” to be scratched outside of our vocation. 

Here’s the takeaway. As we turn the calendar into another New Year ask yourself two questions:

  • What is it that matters most to me?
  • What can I build into my life – if not already realized – that allows me to be working toward that end?

Take some deliberate time to wrestle with these questions honestly and then take the steps toward seeing that mission accomplished. And as you do, who knows, maybe this year could be your most meaningful one yet?