Step #1 for discerning your Vocation.

To answer your vocation is to find true freedom!

There are many people who go about life in two different manners.  The first and probably most numerous group of people lives life on a whim.  They plan out the day to day business, such as paying bills, mantaining the household, going to family events, working, etc.  The “have to do” type of stuff gets done. But as far as having a direction for the larger things in life, these people have no cares.  It is as if they are on a ship with no compass or sail.  They are content to drift along in the currents of fate, and let the more important stuff be taken care of by someone else.  For this group, discerning God’s will is unimportant, or absurd.  God’s will has no importance for such a person.  It is either unknowable, unecessary, or undesirable.

The second group of person goes about life in this way.  They are very devout and very serious.  They are striving to life live in a moral and upright way.  They may even give to charity and help others in need.  They do everything respectably and transparently.  They are assured that, if they maintain their present course, things will work out well in the end, when they meet God.  In the midst of their striving, their planning, their toils, they try to hear God’s voice, and see His fingerprints on their important efforts.  But it is hard to hear His voice and see His hands.  It seems as if He is not there at all.  Such a person always wishes that God were present in their lives.  Since He seems distant, and this person is pretty sure that he or she is on the right track anyhow, this type of person will just keep on striving and toiling away, hoping that they really are on the right track.

Now, both types of person, the carefree traveler and the conscientious worker, are actually wandering away from God’s path.  What is the common error between these two very different ways of life?  It is self-reliance.  And how often do all of us fall prey to this temptation?  Whatever the motivation, our tendancy towards self-reliance blinds us to God.  It also binds us.  We become bound in our own little persuits, and we lose the freedom to move where God directs.  As long as we are stuck in self-reliance, we will never respond to God’s will, because we will never be free to see it.  We aren’t even looking for it.

To see God’s calling for our lives, we have to be looking for it.  The first step to seeing God’s plan for our lives is letting go of our own self-reliance.  Our own narrow focus is simply not enough.  Our own industry and genius is not enough.  We are all part of a bigger plan, which is being moved by a greater, and more loving, power than we.  Will we ever learn to put aside our own projects, and sign on to God’s project?  To abandon control to the will of God is to find true spiritual freedom.  It is to abandon frustration and encounter true hope!


About erievocations

I am a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, PA. I am an Assistant Vocations Director, tasked with the promotion of seminary recruitment. My blog deals with discernment of vocations, especially to the priesthood, as well as our universal call to be holy.
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