One of the most important lessons of the Torah is that each and every one of us has a Divine purpose and mission on earth. There is a universal mission that we are all obligated in. However, there is also a unique mission for every nation — United States, England, China, Israel, etc. And within each nation’s mission each citizen has a special, personal mission.
Sometimes you know your mission and sometimes you don’t know your mission. But that doesn’t mean you’re not performing it. All in all, it is important to remember that even if you are not sure what your precise personal mission is — even if you don’t feel like you’re fulfilling your mission — you may in fact be on target.
By now I am sure you are wondering how you can find out what is your calling and mission. The Vilna Gaon, who was one of the greatest Torah sages in the 18th century, tells us how. He quotes Ecclesiastes — “In all your ways know God and He will straighten your path” – and explains the difference between a “way” and a “path” like this: A “way” is known to everyone. It’s the highway. Everyone knows where the highway is. It’s a public thoroughfare. But a “path” is off the beaten track. A path is not public. It is the private and unique way for the individual.
There are certain ways that we serve God that are common to us all. These ways are not unique to any of us. They are the highways of life. You can’t get anywhere unless you get on those highways. However, once you get on the public highway, suddenly you will see a sign that says, “David — exit 3 miles left.” That is where David turns off to continue his journey to fulfill his mission. Now Jan who was also on the highway sees David get off and feels a little jealous. “Lucky guy! He found his path.” But with some patience Jan plods forward until she discovers her path. And sure enough there’s a sign for her too. “Jan, 5 miles exit left.”
Everyone has a unique path waiting for them to journey upon. To find it we’ve got to get on the highway. Collectively we have a mission. It’s the highway. The collective mission of human beings is to become more and more humane.
Each nation has a mission. One nation may be responsible to lead the advancement of technology in the world. Another perhaps is meant to lead research and development in the field of medicine. Another perhaps is called upon to increase art and music. And yet another may be appointed to head up promoting the moral and ethical progress of the world.
After we have accepted our mission as a member of the human race and our mission as a member of our specific nation, then we will be we shown our individual mission. Until that time you should work at becoming a more decent human being and a better citizen of your nation.
Each and every one of us has a mission in life — a calling. The thing you have to always remember is “Who” is calling. God is calling you to be His agent on earth, and the mission He is asking you to fulfill is not only your mission but a divine mission; to bring godly goodness to the world.