When Momma Gump was on her death-bed, she shared with Forrest her philosophy on destiny: “Well, I happened to believe you make your own destiny, you have to do the best with what God gave you.”
The anguished man-child then pleads with his mother, “What’s my destiny?”
Her blunt response: “You’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself”
As a child, I remember asking my mother for guidance. “What will I be when I grow up?”
My wise mother would simply ask, “What do you want to be?” She’d then encourage me. Assure me that I could be whatever I wanted to be.
Those interactions fueled my creativity and gave me confidence in my abilities. She planted the seed that I was in charge of my own destiny. I could do anything I choose as long as I was willing to work hard enough.
But when Forrest asked his momma, “What’s my destiny?”, he wasn’t a child. And she was dying. There wasn’t time for creativity and confidence building.
Momma Gump had to give it to Forrest straight and right away – figure it out for yourself.
As my own mother lay dying of a brain tumor in 2001, I didn’t ask her about my destiny. Rather, I comforted her by telling her it was OK for her to leave us. Her job here in time and space was completed. I assured her that I’d be OK. The family would be OK. I told her that she had completed her work as my living mother … and that she had done well.
Over the past sixteen years, I’ve missed my mother and often wished I could ask her about my destiny or life’s purpose. It wouldn’t be the desperate question that Forrest asked his momma, but it would be a heartfelt plea for her patient listening and calm guidance.
Figuring out our life’s purpose is one of the most important and challenging things a person can do.
We all have a destiny.
We all have a life purpose.
Our responsibility is to do the best with what God has given us.
Our responsibility is to figure it out for ourselves.
In remembrance of my mother for Mothers Day 2017.