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The Assignment

We tend to think that everyone sees the world as we do, don’t we? Perhaps it is ego, but we often assume that our perceptions are valid and completely aligned with others. I certainly did. So I never thought my philosophy of life to be far-fetched until I tried to explain it to folks and had a raised eyebrow or two as a result. I guess that sometimes happens when we attempt to describe what we rarely share, the personal views that we hold onto so tightly. Somehow, in the deep recesses of my mind, I have always believed in this idea, even though I can’t back it up with anything more than a strong feeling in my heart. And yes, I realize that I am off to a pretty ambiguous start here, so before I continue, I suppose I should get a little more specific. Let me share my theory with you.

You see, I understand that we are all souls, currently having a human experience and that our souls are special God-created masses of energy. Scientifically speaking, energy can be converted, changed, transformed, but it cannot be destroyed once created. So spiritually and technically, the essence of who we are as individuals existed before we made our appearance in this world and will exist long after we make our exits. I find that comforting, especially as I read the Bible, which promises eternal life in paradise to the faithful, those who accept that this gift was purchased by our Savior’s sacrifice. But I also think that what we experience while our souls occupy this earthly body is part of some divine plan, one which we participate in and freely choose. I like to call it “the assignment.”

We all begin as a gentle spirit (wasn’t the evil one once an angel?). And we spend our time flitting around the beautiful realm we call heaven, having a grand old time. We form relationships with others, our celestial friends and family, patiently awaiting our “opportunity.” Like any other loving parent, God wants us to become educated, to learn in order to grow. And so, he takes our baby souls and plants them in a body before sending us off to earth. It is much like going to boarding school in another country, I think. We are expected to attend to our studies, even the lessons that are difficult, and we are expected to keep in touch with home (through prayer).


On each and every morning, The Lord appears at the head of the sacred table with a roster and one by one, we are called forward and given a turn to sit in His holy presence. He is kindly, loving, pulling out the Big Book of Life. And then, He turns to each of us, reviewing what we are about to be sent to this earth to do. Some of us are called to be healers; others are teachers. Some are engineers or politicians or scientists or cooks or preachers or landscapers or businessmen or carpenters. Some of us will have children to guide. The roles are carefully explained, along with a summary of the knowledge we are meant to acquire along the way.

We are given challenges, obstacles that we will encounter. We may have handicaps or medical issues or financial struggles. And occasionally, these are given to us so that we are able to help someone in our lives learn what they must learn, perhaps through our example or sacrifice or bravery. Often, we are given opportunities to experience great joy, which tempers the pain and sadness. Always, there is a choice. And so, before our soul is assigned to a body and sent on its way, God asks us if we accept the assignment we have been given. That becomes our defining moment because free will is a divine right, given to us as His precious children. Sometimes, what we agree to live through will be truly difficult, but the Good Lord gives us the tools that we need to navigate through the trials that we have agreed upon. It is often why we marvel at the courage you see in others. This, my friends, is grace through faith, and it is amazing to behold.

Thankfully, we are also given helpers, to support us and keep us company along the way. You intrinsically know them when they show up. These are the friends and family who offer unconditional love. They hold our hands and offer a ready smile. Think about it: we may encounter hundreds of folks in any given day, and yet, connect with only one or two of them. Often, we marvel at the idea that some people remain strangers for a lifetime, while with others there is an immediate connection. It seems rather magical, like a bit of kismet, doesn’t it? But in my mind, these are simply the souls with whom I had bonded before my name was called to the table, my celestial buddies as I like to call them. I think of such relationships as “soul recognition,” a term which makes perfect sense to me. And as I spend time with those who understand me, who love me in spite of my foolishness, I feel even more validated and supported. For indeed, the roots for our relationship began long ago in a beautiful, perfect, faraway place.

The old folks used to say that all sickness is home sickness. The idea resonates with me now, more than ever. You see, home is an environment which influences the way we think and feel; it is where our family dwells, where we begin and end. Home really is the source of our existence, the foundation for who we are. And our true home is that holy place where God dwells and love abides.

Life experiences are always enlightening, even the difficult ones. And so, we learn from our choices, whether they be wise or foolish. Ultimately, our goal is to become better, to grow our souls and develop our character. Consider the challenges as homework, no pun intended, because that’s really what they are. Yes indeed, the world is one big classroom, one which requires our presence. Unfortunately, some of us are always absent from school.

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