Be open to your vocation

By Vinal Van Benthem | January 15, 2015

Every so often we hear about someone who loses their job and, rather than look for work in the same field, decides to do something entirely different. And often there’s a mentor who encourages and supports their decision.

Fred is a retired university professor. It was his job to advise students regarding employment after graduation. Today Fred is busier than ever, but now it’s the unemployed who seek his advice.

Marci was in her early 50’s when, after working in manufacturing for 20-plus years, her company was acquired and Marci’s entire division was sold off. Suddenly she found herself in the bewildering world of electronic resumes and computer networking sites and she was beginning to think that she’d never find another job when she met Fred. “If you could have any job you wanted, what would you do?” No one had ever asked Marci that question before, but she had an answer ready. You see, Marci had a dream. She’d always wanted to open a tea shop but most folks just laughed and told her to be happy she had a job and forget the dream. But not Fred; he handed her the catalog from a local technical school and offered to help her with the online registration. “Come and see …”

A “vocation” is a call from God. When Catholics hear the word they usually think of priests, or maybe religious sisters or brothers. But every one of us has a vocation. We just don’t always know what it is. We need someone to help us to hear how God is calling us. Eli realized that it was God who was calling Samuel and he told him what to say the next time God called. John the Baptist knew that Jesus was calling the two disciples and he pointed him out to them when he walked by. Fred knew that God was calling Marci and he offered to help her realize her dream. “Come and see …”

Each one of us has a vocation. Perhaps yours is to help someone else hear how God is calling them.

Van Benthem is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and a longtime pastoral minister, retreat leader, spiritual director and published writer and poet.

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