I woke up this morning with a fire in my belly. No, it’s not from the street tacos I had which caused other problems I won’t mention. It was a fire of desire. A fire to reach at least ONE person today and help them discover their WHAT so they can begin impacting others in the singular way that only they can.

But, where does this fire come from? I am clear that we are each wired to excel in very specific ways, but what keeps the flame burning?

Nelson Mandela endured years of inexcusable treatment because he understood that he was on a mission to serve his fellow countrymen.

Father Michael Pfleger of Chicago puts his life on the line every time he speaks for the voiceless and fights for what’s right in his community.

Helen Keller, despite being blind and deaf, fought through adversity to share her message that she simply knew could empower others.

But, what exactly is this feeling? I don’t create it. It’s just there… and I MUST listen to it. There simply is no choice… mostly because it won’t shut up.

Is it hope? Is it our destiny? Is it our calling? Or, is it simply an annoying voice that somehow got trapped inside during a night of drinking on the streets of New Orleans? (I’m writing this on Fat Tuesday and realized this was a good opportunity to insert New Orleans into one of my posts. Haven’t really had a chance to do that before.)

At the Democratic National Convention in 1988, Rev. Jesse Jackson said, “You must not surrender. You may or may not get there, but just know that you’re qualified and hold on and hold out. We must never surrender. America will get better and better. Keep hope alive!”

While many believe that he was referring solely to the state of the American economy, perhaps he was actually referring to the HOPE that can be found within each and every one of us.

What did he know that I’m only beginning to recognize today-—that there is something larger that lives within all of us? That God has planted a microchip of direction that provides the beacon of light we each need and directs us towards our true reason for being?

That despite the trials and tribulations of life, our path has been predetermined, set in stone, and will drive us through hell and high water to accept the mission we’ve been granted because we choose, or shall I say we dare, to accept it?

Or, is this simply a cruel, awful joke? That somehow we’re provided a vision of what is right, what is just, what we’re called to do, and what we know needs to happen, but unless we fight tooth and nail to bring this vision to fruition, it will die, and we will be the only one to blame for its demise?

And, why me? Why you? Why am I the messenger for helping people discover their WHAT? Why are you the advocate for _____________ (fill in the blank)?

It’s one of the mysteries of life that I may never fully (or, hell, even partially) understand. But, I move on regardless. Honoring the fire, aerating it and allowing it to grow bigger within.

Because it’s clear that I’ve got a fever. And, the only prescription available to cure this fever is more cowbell… wait, sorry.

The only prescription available to cure this fever is to let whatever bangs on the doors of my soul out into the world and allow it to be free, for the betterment of all, because I have granted it wings and encourage it to soar.

So the fire continues to burn. It will not allow me to rest on my laurels. Like my friend’s three-year-old daughter, it will not be ignored.

And, so I must listen. I must act. I must keep hope alive. And, tomorrow, I’ll do it all over again.