Why Are You Here?


The question was part rhetorical and part inquisitive: “Why are you here?” I was in my second year of college and the exchanged happened because of my asking for an extension on a paper, due to a volleyball tournament on my schedule. I was a bit shocked by the bold retort of my English teacher. I expected her to understand that there was more to life than her class, be gracious and let me off the hook. She didn’t. She jolted me with an existential question that haunts so many of us on a daily basis.

Why are you here? question

The simple answer was “I’m here to go to college, learn and graduate.” But the bigger life answer is much more elusive. And while I still wrestle with God’s will for my life on a daily basis, I learned something that day that has served me well over the years. Even when I cannot connect all the dots from where I find myself to where I think I want to end up, I can, and should, understand and seize the opportunity that’s right before me. That’s all I have anyway. That’s all we all have.

I moved 6 thousand miles away from home to attend college in Nashville. I had to leave family, friends and even learn a new language to make it work. My parents had sacrificed resources and let go of the elder son so I could pursue what I wanted.  And my most important concern was to play volleyball, even thought I was not that great of a ball player.

I have asked the same question of some of my younger friends whom I mentor,”why are you here?” Those who get “it” go on to seize the day and make the most of their current situation so that they’ll be ready for the next challenge and opportunity. They don’t know all the answers but they embrace the challenge and perform to their best. They grow, stretch and are given more.

Unfortunately some decide to “wait” for their ideal situation to present itself. And in doing so, waste opportunities that might never come back around. Call it maturity, grit, hunger, responsibility, passion, but whenever they figure out how to harness the motivation to roll up their sleeves and get the job done, they will open the doors to the life they have searching for.

Where are you today?

  • I see what you are saying, but I also think that you have to be mindful to not get ahead of God’s plans for you. http://bit.ly/fgEkZ1

    • I like the tension of being faithful to the task God has given me at the moment and my own dreams for the future.

  • Great reminder for me today!! Sort of struggling w/ some of this as we speak. This God’s will thing can be a combination of grit, hustle, patience, listening for His whisper & having a posture of making things happen.

    • So true. I have used trusted mentors and strong believers whom I trust to help me walk during times I wasn’t certain of the proper balance in my life. I know I have never regretted doing my best no matter the circumstance.

  • I love questions that are more potent than their answers. Thanks, Maurillio.

  • I firmly believe in the importance of the journey we walk – not just the destination. It is in the small decisions every day that our character is shaped and molded. If we wait for the ideal situation to come along before we act, we miss countless blessings and bypass innumerable opportunities to go places, minister to others and even to share our stories. I believe that every day offers many choices and within those choices the inevitable defining of character.

  • As Mother Teresa told a woman when she asked..”How do I know what my calling is?” Mother Teresa said “what do you do?” The woman replied ” I teach”. Mother Teresa simply said “then go be the best teacher you can be.”

  • I am slowly learning that God’s call on my life is to be present in the moment He has given me right now – to see the opportunities before me and take them as they come. I have never really known Him to lay out the whole plan of what He has for me or for my friends or students. He just asks us to trust Him right now and take the steps He’s putting in front of us…which will end up leading us into our calling.

  • I am in a place today of curiosity, I am curious about people, business, and life. nThat drives me to learn more and grow more. nnBut that sobering question of “why are you here” is something that I always have to ask myself. I moved to Nashville because of that very question, I was in a place in my life where I was running from that question because the answer was one of convenience, thats why I was there. Now I am here in Nashville because I have to go through fear, pain, and learning. Thats why I am here

    • Man, that was so personal and powerful. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  • Maurilio, I love what you have to say here but I’ll have to be honest in that based on life experience I don’t agree with your conclusion. I’ve spent most of my life digging in and working to get the jobs in front of me done and I’m nowhere near the life I’ve been searching for since I was a youth. I pray that for those you mentor they do find the life they’re searching to find.

    • Thank you for the raw and honest feedback. Your perspective matters and I hope one day you’ll see your hard work pay off. I know it will.

  • I should be too mature to abuse juvenille vernacular, but I don’t care.nnDUDE!! This post is awesome. Thank you!nI struggle with this question along with it’s close cousin, “Where are you going?”nnAt the most basic level I want to provide financially for my family and be debt free (we’re Dave Ramsey koolaid drinkers) along with leading my wife and children spiritually through service and involvement in our church. Beyond that I’ve always hated the question, “What do you want to do?”nnI want the answer to “why am I here?” or even “what am I meant for?”.nnThank you Maurilio. A powerful post.

    • Yo! You can call me “Dude” and “awesome” all day long. Word.

  • Honestly, and unfortunately, I think I fall into the “waiting” category more times than not. Although my problem usually lies in trying to figure out what dot to connect next, if that makes any sense. I try to be obedient when I feel God’s leading, but it’s that second step where I usually get stuck…therefore, the waiting game begins. Thank you for such a challenging post!

    • Thank you for your honest reply, Angie. In my experience I continue to do what I know and have before me until another opportunity arises. It’s not as easy as it sounds, however.

  • Great post, Maurilio. I’m wrestling with how to navigate some new waters in my life right now, but my honest answer after years of struggling with the timing and methods of God in my life? Right where I am supposed to be. Prepared, purposed and poised… uncertain but assured… loose ends and all. I’m learning what it means to make plans, but leave margin for God to completely wreck them.nnOne of my favorite questions I love to ask when I’m spending time getting to know and investing into other’s lives is “who did you used to be?” That always makes people stop and intentionally focus on their journey in a unique way.

  • Thank you.

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