“Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
This quote from St. Catherine of Siena pretty much sums up my experience when I went on a week-long mission trip to Benque Viejo, Belize in 2019.
Just two weeks ago, I made a very big life decision. I decided to go back to Benque—not just for a week, but for a whole year! I will be a teaching missionary there, and I could not be more excited! I would have never imagined my life to look like that. Why would I leave my family and friends? Why would I give up getting a normal job with a salary? Why would I agree to taking cold showers for a year? Or having no Wi-Fi in my house for a year? So many questions, but one simple answer: I know this is why God created me. I know this is part of my unique life’s mission. I know this is how I can “set the world on fire.”
This quote is a very powerful reminder to me. It gives me great motivation and inspiration—knowing and understanding that each of us are uniquely created with a specific purpose. Sometimes we get caught up in trying to find that purpose. We become stressed or anxious about the future. Whether it be not knowing what to major in, what college to attend, or what job to take, we can get caught up in worrying about what God wants us to do. But oftentimes, God just wants what you want! He wants your ultimate happiness. It looks different for everyone, but to be who God created you to be means to do whatever brings you the most peace, happiness, joy, and love.
Another one of my favorite quotes, from St. Irenaeus, describes this purpose well: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
When I went to Belize in 2019, I have never felt so fully alive—so peaceful, so happy, so joyful, so loved. I knew that that was where I needed to be, part of why God created me. I was fully alive because I was doing what God created me to do, and that is our purpose in life. We were each created to set the world on fire with our love and our joy. When you find the thing that makes you feel fully alive—go do it and bring glory to God!
Our Father created us to be fully alive and to set the world on fire.