Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

“Your calling is where your own greatest joy intersects with the needs of the world.” – Frederick Buechner

I love this quote from Frederick Buechner. I first heard it my Vocation class at Trinity Lutheran College. It was an entry level class, required of every student, but I found it to be fascinating.

The professor stressed that “job” and “vocation” are not always the same thing. Few of us are lucky enough to be able to make a living where we find joy and fulfill a need at the same time.

Sometimes we need a job to pay the bills, and end up finding our vocations in other places. Leading a Scout group, coaching soccer, or volunteering at any of a multitude of positions can fulfill that call. Being a good friend, sharing home baked cookies, or singing in the choir are all ways in which we can fulfill our callings.

I believe that vocations can change over the course of a lifetime. The gifts that we have in our teenage years grow and evolve. Our schedules vary as does our ability to try new things. Lives progress through stages that offer different amounts of flexibility with time and money. There isn’t much in life that stays the same.

I recently had a conversation with a retired nurse who said that she was still waiting to find her passion. I was shocked for a moment, then asked if nursing had not been her passion. “Well, it certainly was,” she said, “but I’m not doing that any more. It’s time to find something new.”

She is not at a point in her life where she is needing to find a new career, or even a job, but she does need something that will spark joy, and fill a need at the same time. She needs a new vocation.

If you were in such a position, where would you begin searching? Would you take up piano lessons so you could share your gift of music? Would you start baking and delivering sweet treats to the lonely? Is volunteering at a food bank or thrift store be more up your alley?

There are so many options in this life it can be paralyzing. I find that the best way to move forward is to simply take one step. You can always try a different path if it turns out this isn’t the one that brings you joy.

Keep following the call.

Deacon Amy