Saturday, February 9, 2019

Your vocation starts today

I feel like this year’s Super Bowl was just too soon.

I realize that there was a lot of excitement about brother-coaches, deer antler spray, and a quarterback covered in Biblical tattoos, but I just couldn’t get into it. Let’s face it: most decent people in America are still mourning the Steelers’ loss to the Packers in the Super Bowl two years ago.

I remember watching a post-game interview with Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, where he was asked about one of his touchdown passes. The reporter remarked that Rodgers’ accuracy that night was phenomenal and proceeded to ask him how he was able to make such a clutch play. Without any hesitation, Rodgers just explained that the pass was easy to throw because he and his receivers had practiced it hundreds of times throughout the season.

Though Aaron Rodgers and his teammates are the source of such a deep wound in my life, I’ve thought about his answer a lot since then.

As Catholics we believe that everyone has a vocation from God, a divine calling and a specific path to holiness that each of us is made for. Because God made our hearts, He calls each of us to the vocation that makes our hearts the most fully alive. All vocations will come with their own share of suffering and challenges, but we believe that embracing God’s call to holiness is also embracing God’s call to joy and peace.

You’ve probably heard this before. I remember hearing plenty of people talk about vocations when I was in high school, but I tuned most of them out. I knew that I wouldn’t be ready for any sort of long term commitment for awhile, so I thought I’d just figure it out later. I didn’t realize that my actions, my habits, and my choices would be preparing me for my vocation.

I was shocked to find out that my selfishness, my insensitivity, and a host of other shortcomings didn’t magically disappear once I got married.

When we hear the stories of the saints, the men and women who loved with all their hearts and responded to God’s call with everything they had, it’s like watching a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. The heroic examples of the saints are not some random occurrences that just kind of happen; they are the products of lives spent learning to say “yes” to God’s call in a thousand small ways. Before Saint Agnes or Saint Maximilian Kolbe ultimately gave their lives as martyrs, they had been practicing sacrifice and learning to trust God in the small things of daily life.

How are you preparing for your vocation? No matter which vocation you’re called to, it’s going to require selflessness, sacrifice, and a strong prayer life.

What you do today actually matters because God is calling you to greatness. He’s not just going to call you to something years from now, He’s calling you today to practice and prepare so that you can be ready to respond with love when the pressure’s on. When we learn to say “yes” to God, we find that His grace really is enough and that He can do the impossible in our lives.

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the Lord, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you."
By Brian Kissinger