Last week I was listening to spiritual teacher Gabby Bernstein and she made the statement, “It’s my responsibility to share my great work with the world.”
She said that it was a mantra that everyone should adopt, that each and every one of us had a unique and great work and that we needed to realize that truth and realize that it was our responsibility as human beings to embrace our great work and serve the world by sharing it.
Sitting with that statement, and turning it over in my mind over and over the past few days, has brought up a lot of conflicting and difficult thoughts and feelings.
Devoting my life to the service of others has been deeply embedded in my psyche all my adult life. I chose medicine as a career and a life’s work because as a teen I logically reasoned that medicine would be a good way to serve people using my aptitude and passion for science. And for the past 30 years, I’ve been grateful and blessed to have served thousands of people using my training and skills.
But if you asked me to identify what “my great work” was, I really couldn’t tell you. I don’t have a clear answer to the question, and I haven’t for decades.
I’m deeply enriched by the role and the practice of medicine, but there’s been a tug on my heart, a thought in the back of my mind that just won’t go away, that maybe I was made for something more, but I’m not sure what that something more is.
I was once absolutely convinced that my something more was to become a pastor, but through a series of circumstances I realized I was absolutely wrong about that. And being absolutely wrong about something I had been absolutely convinced of with every fiber of my being really shook my self-confidence in nearly everything, and it still makes me second-guess nearly everything about my life.
So, I don’t really know what “my great work” is, or even if I really have one, or whether that’s just an illusion or something for just a few people. But thinking it through, I realize that it doesn’t do me or anyone else any good for me to not believe I have anything special to give to the world. To reject even the possibility that I might have a “great work” is to ensure that I never have even the opportunity to find it or share it.
But if I do choose to believe, to have faith that I have something unique and worthy to give, only then can it become meaningful and indeed a joy and a blessing to spend my life endeavoring to discover what that great work is. For even if I die without ever being sure that I’ve found it, just the pursuit of it is worthy, just the pursuit of it will both bless me and the people who I endeavor to serve.
And so, my thought for you today is, “What is your great work?” It may not be great in the eyes of the world, but it doesn’t have to be. It may not even be connected to your current job, and it doesn’t have to be. But if you have something that you know deep in your heart you were made for, then please, please run with that. Run with all your might and feel God’s pleasure in it. Spend your life for that thing you will look back with deep satisfaction and pride, and see its pursuit as your sacred responsibility.
And if you don’t have that great work yet, if you don’t have something that grips your heart, then it’s your responsibility to find it. It’s your responsibility to ask, to search, to try, to work, to do anything and everything to find your great work. Your journey of discovery of your great work will be a journey of service, and will be your path to bless many souls along your way.
It is your responsibility to share your great work with the world. May God richly bless your journey.