Match Made in Heaven

Gebriel Alazar Tesfatsion
7 min readFeb 24, 2023

Graduation Article

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

You are not graduand, nor is this graduation. This is a wedding, your wedding; you are but a bride/groom. Today, you are being wed, wed not to another person, but Purpose, capital P Purpose, Purpose bigger than you, bigger than the small, petty, selfish goals you have been in pursuit of thus far — wed to your true existential Purpose, instead, the Purpose of serving your fellow beings for the rest of your sojourn on earth, in your unique talent, in that talent that you are happiest and most productive in serving, whatever that talent may be.

This moment marks the end of your courtship days with Purpose here in this College, whence you have been cultivating, honing your talent in the course of your study, in preparation for the life of service ahead; and this moment marks the beginning of your wedded life to that Purpose.

On this auspicious moment, you stand on the altar next to your Purpose, before God and your fellow beings, and make your wedding vow:

I take you to be my true existential purpose, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, in the presence of God I make this vow.

By the power vested on it by the people and government of Eritrea, Adi Keih College of Business and Social Sciences bestows its blessing upon this union with your true existential Purpose, match made in heaven.

A word of advice to you, the newly wed, before you run off to your new Purposeful life. Be warned. The world you are about to return to in union with Purpose will not be the same to you as your aimless, wandering days, for this world is hostile to persons wed to Purpose.

Marriage with your true existential purpose, the purpose of serving fellow beings in the talent you are happiest and most productive in marks you as a rebel, dissenter in the eyes of the world, because, in this union, you refuse to be the mediocrity it desires you to be; and, in so doing, eventually, the world knows that you will outgrow it.

The world will not allow this dissent. It will not sleep a wink, bent upon breaking this marriage with Purpose and reducing you into putty in its hand. It shall employ every scheme and wile on the book to that end.

The serpentine world will, first, slither its way onto your presence in your most vulnerable moment. It will compliment you on your lofty Purpose. Then, it will try to bait you with a pernicious lie. It will tell you to sit back and wait until the opportunity of serving in your Purpose comes your way and presents itself to you.

This is a deceit to commit you to idleness, the mother of all evils, and render your life prodigal. If you take the bait and begin to wait, the world will cater to you with every glitzy distraction to get your mind off the Purpose and the feeling of unease at not attending to it. The longer the world gets you to wait, the farther and farther away it wanders you off your Purpose, until one day you wake up and you behold a gulf between you and the Dream and the sly world grinning at you on the other side of the gulf.

The truth, the truth that the world hides from you in plain sight, is that moments are not for waiting. Every fleeting moment, no matter how ordinary, mundane is opportunity, opportunity in disguise. In every moment is opportunity, the opportunity to be true to the Purpose, to observe the principles the Purpose dictates in what you do, what you say, what you think, and what you feel.

Do not lose heart if the dream takes longer to materialize, if nothing in your present reality gives you the slightest sign, hope of the coming of the Dream. Trust in the law. The law is, in the words of Norman Cousins, “Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effect, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.”

Know that the Dream is in the making with the little acts, deeds, words, thoughts, feelings of faith to Purpose you make in the fleeting moments; it is in the making out there, beyond the horizon of physical reality, and in its due time, it will descend into your reality. Hence, hold on to your faith in the Purpose when it is only but a dream. After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The moment is all you have got. It is your only way to your dream. Way leads on to way, moment leads on to moment, until you are brought unto the presence of your moment of dream. You cannot leap over moments to success. There is no such thing as leap in the universe. Nothing ever leaps. Everything in the universe moves in the slow motion of evolution. Thus Victor Frankl advises:

Don’t aim at success — -the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.

Never, ever wait. Remember this; write this under your eye lids if you have to so that you will read it even when you are asleep: when you wait a moment, you squander the opportunity contained in that moment; every squandered moment is a giant step away from your dream.

If the world does not succeed in its scheme to get you to wait, to wait away your dream; if, against its will, you remain loyal to your existential duty to others in every moment, the world will revert to intimidation and force to part you from your Purpose.

It will rain down hardship upon your union. It will try to drown the life out of your day to day Purposeful existence, so much so that the existence will seem one, long, endless string of ennui.

In your days of distress, the sly world will dangle before your eyes voluptuous, superfluous pursuits with inflated market value, such as careers in sports and entertainment, to tempt you into flings with them and cheat on, be unfaithful to your Purpose.

You shall see many marriages broken under the relentless predicament, and many a bright, promising youths divorced from their Dreams, and become aimless wanderers, like driftwood in a flood.

Be mindful that you could not hold your wedding in a more precarious time, time when little sanity remains in human existence, when human beings have largely forsaken their duty to one another, in blind pursuits of their narrow personal pleasures at the expense of the well-being of others and nature. Consequently, you live in a reality where war, disease, depression, crime, destitution, injustice etc. prevails. The little sanity that still remains is because of the few truthful persons who remained loyal to their Purpose, to their duty to others and nature, against all odds of the world. You owe it to these iron-willed souls that you get to celebrate your wedding today.

Now, it rests upon you to go out into the world to make whatever contributions you can make in your respective field of study in order to right whatever is wrong, to heal the wounds, to bring back sanity to human existence.

Besides, a Purposeless life is, first, a bland, tasteless life, a life not worth living. What is more, you cannot part with Purpose without parting with well-being. You see, you are but a tiny yet organic part of the whole you make with the rest of humanity. Your well-being is in your connection with your fellow beings in service, in that service that is your existential duty to provide them every day. You severe that connection, that umbilical cord of your well-being, when you part with existential purpose; when you shirk your duty to others. The result is you grow into gangrene, spiritual gangrene. Hence, your Duty to others in every moment is your Noah’s Ark. There lies your salvation.

Hold fast to the marriage. Remember this day; remember the wedding vow you are making before God and humanity. Be not intimidated even if the entire world came flooding at you because the world has no power over persons wed to their true existential Purpose and the will to remain faithful to it. Keep these wise words of Pope Shinouda in mind at all times: “A huge chunk of wood cannot resist the flood, but is swept along by it wherever it goes. But a small fish can resist the current and is able to go where it wants to go. That is because it has life and has a will.”

Hence, let not the howls and huffs of the world intimidate you. The world will howl and huff, howl and huff itself to exhaustion and eventually, in resignation against your iron will, will be like a puppy under your feet.

A message from the college I relay, before I bid you go with peace. The College would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the Golden Anniversary of its commencement in twenty eight years’ time from today, to share in its joy as its alumnus. You shall be middle aged persons, if you will live to see the day, before the twilight years of your lives, hair graying, perhaps holding your graduation bulletin, then yellow with age.

The college will ask of you what you have made with the talent you were lent decades ago. Will it find you to be a barren fig tree? Will you be the proverbial wicked, slothful servant who buries his talent, or the good and faithful servant, whom the College rejoices in saying unto, “thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things”?

I leave you with that thought. Till I see you at the anniversary, adieu.