Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Call in the Moment

So often when we think of our calling in life or we hear about "the call" on someone else's life, we think of a vocation or a grand direction....and usually it is a desire or compulsion to pursue an occupation such as the feeling you are being called to be a doctor, or a missionary, or priest. Of course there are not-for-pay callings too such as being a stay-at-home mom (or dad) or being a deacon. And certainly there are callings to marriage, or virginity, or celibacy. All of these are examples of God's stirring something in us that desires to live a certain way and/or perform a certain job. But the other day while I was praying...seeking to surrender my will to His, I found myself asking God to help me hear and recognize His call not in this big sense...but in a much smaller sense. I asked him to help me hear His call in each moment. I didn't think about these words before I said them, but once I did, I quickly suspected that maybe I had just been given a bit of Divine insight.

Many theologians (Protestant and Catholic) have written and preached about how each of us have God-appointed tasks to do in life or God-given duties to perform. And there can be no doubt that God directs us and leads us to our occupations and roles in life...if we let Him. (I love the line in one of St. Therese's prayer: "May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.") But I feel like maybe there is an opportunity to draw closer to Him if we usurp the idea of a calling...or of God's call...from it's normal context and see it at its core.

God's call is not about our making a one time decision or about His occasionally pointing us in a certain direction. Rather God's call is more basic. It is His voice in our lives...urging us to follow along the perfect plan He has for us. God's calling is dynamic and specific. It is not measured in lifetime achievement or years of service....but rather it is measured in the outcome of individual moments. You see....this is where He lives. He is in the Now...He is the Present. If we accept this premise...that ultimately our "calling" is just God's appointed direction...which is to say our lives, then we can see that "His call" is more than roles and occupations. In fact, I think maybe we need to see that is His call is really just for each of us to obey Him in every moment...To act like His Son in every situation. In other words, God's calling on our life is much more granular than what we normally think. God is much more personal! God has a specific plan...a desired action...for each one of us in each moment. He wants to be there and help us in every situation. He wants to lead us in every moment of our lives. He loves us THAT much.

And how can we not trust His direction? He sees beyond us...beyond this moment. He not only knows the moment we are currently in, but had already been there before us. He sees the actions that will most benefit us...and the actions that will most benefit those around us.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
And so He calls to us...longing to directs us and guides us along our best path...not just the big picture path...but each step, around each stone, across each crack of the journey. We don't ever have to enter a moment feeling alone...feeling lost or unsure. Not matter what the moment looks like...God is there...calling us.

So yes...we all have a calling. And yes...God has appointed-tasks for us in life. Most of us have to work...and all of us have roles to fulfill. But more than being a doctor, a missionary, or a priest...He wants us to be a healer, a servant, and yes even to be His every moment of our lives. So I guess that means that you and I need to forget the "big" question and begin asking God the smaller question (over and over again)...what is Your call for me in this moment?

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