Reflections on Vocation
Called to be...
"It is never too late to be what you might have been" (George Elliot)
"Every human being searches for meaning and identity" (Anon)
"I have come that you may have life and have it to the full" (Jn 10:10)
“Who am I?” People have always struggled to find the answer to this important question. It is at the very core of our identity. The question is always present in our psyche but it assumes a far greater importance and urgency at certain stages in our lives, as, for example, in adolescence and mid-life.
We believe that we have been created uniquely in the image of a God who loves us. He calls each one of us to be a unique face of his love to the world.
Deciding my future
Many of us 'drift' into a way of life. The values of our culture, market forces, the availability of work opportunities, carrying on the family business, examination results, parental and family expectations, can all determine what we do. We may end up years later feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled. In a newspaper survey (Irish Independent, 9 April 2004), seven out of ten people would gladly change their present jobs if they could.
If I have missed my deepest calling, I may well live a life of some 'unease'. I may find that my heart is longing for something more and I don't know what it is. My spirit can feel restless as if searching for something different. If that is the case then it is time to stop and reflect. My life may be tending towards a path of which I'm not yet aware.
Born to be
From a very early age some people have a deep intuition of what they 'were born to be'. They are aware of a lifestyle and work that fits them like a glove and gives expression to who they are.
For example the famous cellist Jacqueline du Prhad, at the age of four, an intuition that she wanted to play the cello. She had heard a cello performance on the radio. She ran to her mother and asked what the instrument was and said she wanted to play it. As her life unfolded the world knew she was right.
In the film "Billy Elliot", the young Billy knew he wanted to be a dancer even though the whole culture of his coalmining background was against it. Despite difficulties and taunts he won out in the end. There are many people who instinctively know what they want to be. They have an innate sense of their own giftedness. For most of us, however, discerning who we are or what we are called to be is a more subtle business.
Knowing what we are meant to be, demands among other things, a sensitivity to the gifts we possess, a listening to what our lives and intuitions are saying to us. Maybe we could ask ourselves a number of questions like:
- What gives me life?
- What gives me a sense of fulfilment?
- What motivates me?
- What gives me a sense of satisfaction?
- What would make me really happy?
- What would I feel at home in?
The answerto these questions throws up clues as to what path I should take. It is important to be aware that the Spirit who lives in our hearts will guide us if we are attentiveand open to the Spirit's presence.