Take a Break for Faith Podcast Transcript
Take Five for Faith monthly meditation podcast–We all have a vocation.
Welcome to your Take Five Monthly Meditation. This month’s theme is “We all have a vocation.” Let’s settle in for a reflection on the theme:
What does it mean that God "calls" us? Can you run but not hide when God drafts you for a particular service? Is “free will” a polite fiction when God has our destiny all worked out in advance? The short answers are: Our freedom is real, human history has no blueprint, and God is prepared to greet any choice we might make with a constellation of grace and possibility.
Like any divine gift, our freedom comes with responsibility. It does, after all, make a difference which choices we make. Choose the way of destruction, and you're in for a world of hurt. Choose the way of planting and building, and the future blossoms into fuller and greater life.
Yet we say God calls us. To what, if not to particular things? God wants you to be fully alive, to the height and breadth and depth of your being, which means loving, giving, expressing--and radiant, just as God is. Answer that call, and you have stepped into your vocation for sure.
Let’s move more deeply into our theme with a reflection on discovering your call.
The book of Job presents work as futile and the worker as a pawn, a “slave” consigned to grueling days of hard and meaningless toil and restless nights of troubled sleep.
Saint Paul, on the other hand, presents an enthusiastic vision of work as pouring oneself out for the well-being of others. He views his ministry as a sacred trust. He freely accepts his calling, and for him work has a noble purpose.
Jesus also had a purpose. When, after a day of preaching, teaching, and healing, Jesus went off in the early morning to pray, Simon and those who were with him pursued him. They recognized that Jesus had been a big hit. “Everyone is looking for you,” they said. They wanted to go back with Jesus to bask in the glory of his newfound celebrity status.
But Jesus, having communed with the Father in prayer, understood he was called to go forth to all the nearby villages to preach. “For this purpose have I come,” he said. And he “went forth preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.” That day, the disciples learned a lesson about the importance of listening to and following God’s call within.
Each of us has a vocation. We are all called to listen deeply within to discover the dream God has for us, the dream God planted in our hearts. At the turn of the new millennium in 2000, the North American bishops called for all believers to help create a “culture of vocation,” which means encouraging widespread practice of listening, imagining, and discerning what God is calling each of us to—today, this year, this lifetime.
Ultimately, discovering your calling, God’s dream for you, is all about relationships. It requires a close, authentic, and healthy relationship with the Lord, with yourself, and with others who take their own calling in life seriously. And it involves service in some fashion. Those you serve will show you the face of Christ.
The choice of what you do with the gift of your life is important. Those who embrace this choice honestly and freely are far more likely to avoid the plight of Job who experienced life as futile and empty, because they will know, deep down, that God has planted within them a calling that is a sacred trust. Like Jesus, your hours and days and years can be guided by knowing “for what purpose I have come.”
Let’s continue with a meditation that moves us forward:
Who was the Good Samaritan? We don't know for sure, but it is clear that he was a layperson, not a religious professional. In fact, it is probable that he was some sort of businessperson--why else would he be on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho early in the morning, happen to have oil and wine with him, be able to pay the innkeeper to take care of the robbery victim on the side of the road, and promise to return on his way back?
In other words, the Good Samaritan was in the middle of doing his job when he was asked to be a good neighbor. What the Good Samaritan did was simple: He saw someone in need, he stopped, and he did what he could.
Acting like the Good Samaritan is what you do if you are a follower of Jesus. Jesus helped others and told us to "go and do likewise." That is the essence of the Christian vocation.
And where do you find your vocation? Like the Good Samaritan, you find your calling in the midst of what you are doing right now, what you are doing every day.
We close this month’s reflection with a scripture passage taken from John’s Gospel:
“I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command to you: Love one another.
This concludes our Take Five Monthly Meditation, “We all have a vocation.” We hope you have found it of benefit and we welcome your comments and feedback. You can find us at TakeFiveforFaith.com or on Facebook. The music for this month’s podcast is by Lee Rosevere. The Take Five Monthly Meditation is produced by TrueQuest Communications. Thank you for joining us this month and have a blessed day.