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Man in Church A

“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” – Frederick Buechner

What gives you deep gladness? What activity makes you so happy that you lose track of time when doing it?  What activity invigorates you and gives you a sense of purpose?  That activity is the key to discovering your vocation.

God created each of us uniquely. And He created each of us for a very specific purpose.  That purpose is to in some way “meet the world’s deep need.”  The question we each have to ask ourselves is this:  In what way am I supposed to meet the world’s deep need?

I think that many of us approach this question in the wrong way. We first identify a world problem – hunger, injustice, abuse, poverty – and then we say to ourselves, “OK.  I’m going to spend my life solving that problem.”  But that isn’t the right approach.  Instead, we first should ask ourselves, “What am I good at?”  And then we should ask ourselves, “How can I take my God-given talent and use it to serve the world?”

In order to go through this analysis, we have to understand who we are. And who we aren’t.  For instance, I think Mother Teresa was a wonderful woman.  She not only served the physical needs of the poor, but she also served their spiritual needs.  She generously shared her beliefs about a loving God who cared for them deeply.  I would love to be like Mother Teresa.  But I’m not.  I’m not suited for convent life.  I enjoy traditional family life.  I love being married to my husband, and I love being a mother to my daughter.  I am “called” to those roles.  Of course, my vocation isn’t limited to those roles, but they are part of how God has called me to serve the world.

When we consider our vocation, then, we shouldn’t be looking at what other people are doing. Instead, we should be looking inward.  We should be discovering our own unique gifts, talents and interests.  And then we should figure out how to use them to meet the needs of the world.

There are an infinite number of ways that we can meet the world’s deep needs.  We certainly aren’t limited to being a minister, nurse or missionary.  If everyone picked only those vocations, we wouldn’t have things like food and electricity!  For instance, if you enjoy being an entrepreneur, I can assure you that the world has a need for ethical business people. If you enjoy being a hairdresser or barber, you can have a significant impact on the world by making others look their best and giving them a boost of confidence.

When it comes to determining your vocation, the most important thing to remember is this: You are here for a reason. God has a special plan for how you will bless the world.  That is your vocation.  It is your job to discover your vocation and have your “deep gladness” meet “the world’s deep need.”

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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