You know that expression, often said about a long-lost friend with relief and gladness: "He (or she) hasn't changed a bit!" Folks really like to see that.
You hear this after high school or college reunions, or perhaps simply after meeting up with someone you haven't seen in a while, perhaps even relatives.
Yet in life, we're supposed to evolve. We supposed to change, unless we are perfect. Since only one Person was that, we're called to do what we can every day to alter and grow in the right direction, toward direct entry into Heaven. Not changing means not growing. Think of a tree, a plant.
In the Bible, David calls out in Psalms, "Lord, put a new and right spirit within me!"
And so should we cry out.
When we change in the right direction (see: Saint Paul and his change), we use more of the gifts that God has bequeathed to us, and our gifts tell us a lot about our destiny; they give us hints as to our mysterious missions in life (which are known in full only on the "other side").
Survey your gifts -- large or small -- and in prayer meditate on how they might apply to what you should be doing, or should be doing more fully, to attain your complete purpose in life.
It's what it's all about: fulfilling the purpose God has made for us. Make those gifts grow through right change. Seek not gifts you don't have, nor aspire to what is not in your destiny. What you have been given is enough!
A person who had a near-death experience we reviewed the other day was saying how when she "died" she saw that everything was the opposite of what most people think of as important on earth, that it was the "complete reverse," and that it's painful, when we die, if we find out we haven't completed much of what God put us here here on earth to do -- "large" or "small."
There is no "small," when it comes to destiny and gifts.
In fact, what we see as the "smallest" gifts -- perhaps simply having a ready smile, or an aptitude for consolation -- are often the greatest.
In your gifts (survey them!) is your destiny.
Always forge ahead. Persevere. Remember that the definition of "failure" should be "first attempt to learn," and that the "n" and "o" in "no" can mean "Next Opportunity." Don't be discouraged!
Change always in the direction of most fully developing your talents, purity, and love.
There is no time to waste.
As the revelation known as The Secrets of Purgatory puts it: "Jesus is very pleased when we make good use of our time, when we do not dispose of it thoughtlessly. Time is not something all our own; it belongs to Him. He has ordained a holy purpose, a duty, a plan for every moment of our lives, and we must fulfill all these intentions of His. We must give an account of every minute. His intentions should be ours; we should not bring back to Him incomplete anything which He has designed for fulfillment."
In that fulfillment in the completeness of joy. That's when we know it is "mission accomplished."