Back in elementary school, the Sisters of St. Joseph who ran the school I attended would often mention to the girls in the class that some of us would be called to the convent. The sisters would tell us to go home that night and pray and see if we were being called to a vocation. I remember going home each time and praying “dear God, please don’t call me.”
I’m pretty sure this isn’t what the sisters had in mind. But at least I was learning how to pray, right? And I will say this about these early lessons in vocations, they helped me understand that God does indeed call us to do certain things.
Lately, I find myself thinking more frequently about God’s call – perhaps a common thought for those of us of a certain age. I sometimes wonder if I missed the call or answered the wrong call. Or did I misunderstand something in the instructions? Or, why can’t God be just a little clearer, like maybe spell things out in a text message like everyone else? I’m always impressed when I meet people who are so sure of their call and who have responded accordingly.
But this past Sunday’s service reminded me that each person’s call is their own and they answer it in their own way and in their own time. We all are in different places in our journey. And, it’s not just a single call that you answer one time, but a lifelong journey of listening, responding, and serving.
Our service on Sunday, which also happened to be Youth Sunday, gave us some stellar examples of how to listen for God’s call, then step out in faith to answer it. First, we had Isaiah, who when the Lord asks “who shall I send?” responds with “Here am I; send me.” Our homilist Katrina reminded us that it’s not the destination but the journey and that not knowing for sure what your destination is, or how you will get there, is part of the excitement and joy of life. Then later in the service, our preschool youth sang a verse that lent us perhaps the simplest and purest directive in answering God’s call: “Jesus is knocking on your door. Open your heart and let him in.”
But I was perhaps most moved by Claudia Boswell’s comments at the reception in recognition of her service as church school superintendent. Claudia said she didn’t think about staying for 30 years when she first started; she just answered God’s call. Our parish is richer for her response. But as Claudia noted, the parish has lifted her as well, especially through the most difficult times.
So we are all on a journey, responding to God’s call and claim on our lives (to borrow from the new website), each of us moving at our own pace and in our own way. The first step on this journey might just be to listen. Jesus is knocking on your door, open you heart and let him in.
- What is your call?
- Do you find you often get caught up in the destination (the future) and forget to enjoy the experience of the journey (and live in the moment)?
- What would you say is your passion?