During the recent visit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Meghan) to southern Africa I was once again reminded of the importance of having a vision for my life, and of living my life in such a way that I remain true to who I am.
So what does a Royal visit have to do with vision and purpose, you might ask? In Proverbs 29 v 18 we read that where there is no vision, the people perish. I believe that this refers to the vision for our lives imprinted on our hearts by our Heavenly Father. A compass, if you will, that leads and directs us in the way we should go – whether that relates to moral decisions or to career choices, and everything in between. I also believe that when we align our lives with this God – given vision, we are successful in what we put our minds to and fulfilled in what we do.
Despite what her detractors say her shortcomings are (and I am certain there are a few – she is human after all), and even her motives, as I follow Meghan’s journey on the world’s stage, I see a woman who not only knows who she is and what she believes in but also is passionate about the causes she supports. This translates, by all accounts, to her genuine interactions with everyone she meets, both at home and abroad. She is able to personally engage with the issues she encounters – a win-win situation for both her and the various projects she oversees in her role as Duchess of Sussex, and, in particular, she is able to support her husband in his role as youth ambassador to the Commonwealth – the purpose for their southern Africa trip.
Interestingly, long before Meghan Markle married her Prince she was an advocate for change, and used her fame as an actress, and its accompanying influence, to campaign for women’s rights, a cause particularly close to her heart. But I am certain that not even she could imagine a time when she would be positioned for influence on the scale she now experiences as a member of the British Royal Family.
For it was not a given that the Royal Family would accept a foreign national of mixed race in their midst. She was also previously divorced and had made her living as a successful actress in a popular television series, all of which meant that she had a ‘past’ about which certain assumptions (whether rightly or wrongly) could be (and I am sure were) made. In particular, questions would have been raised as to whether she would be accepted and embraced by the British public as a member of their Royal Family, a family whose privilege and position arguably depends on their continued support and goodwill.
Needless to say, there were many personal and professional challenges to overcome on the road to her becoming Duchess, and taking up the many opportunities now afforded her to live out her passions and support the causes she cares about.
I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs 18 v 16 which provides that a man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. The word “gift” could also be read “passion” or “interest”.
I do not know what Meghan’s relationship is with God, however, the Word of God remains true no matter who you are, what family you are born into or what circumstances you find yourselves in. It is true for each and every one of us. When we acknowledge and pursue with passion God’s vision for our lives, our unique God-given gift will create opportunities for us to live the life we were born to live.