Finding One’s Calling In Life
I wanted to share this simple but powerful pamphlet I stumbled upon on my visit to St Vladimir’s Seminar by the late Fr Thomas Hopko. It is a refreshing take on answering the question “what’s my calling in life?” Although many of these are highlighted in the pamphlet itself, I wanted to share some of my favorite:
“God knows every person from before the foundation of the world and provides their unique life and the specific conditions of their earthly way that are literally the best possible conditions for them.”
This is a convicting statement as Fr. Hopko explains that it is pride that leads us to say things like, if only I would have been born in this time period, or into a wealthy family, or this or that way… We think we know better than God what is best for us! It is a awe-inspiring and humbling thought to know that God has placed us exactly where and when we need to be, and given us everything we need.
Another quote that touched me was:
“…’form of life’ is not necessarily a job or profession. For example, some people may be called to suffer on this earth and to bear the results of fallen humanity in the most violent manner—to be victimized by disease, affliction, or both physical and mental disability; to be the objects of other people’s cares or disdain.”
Our vocation isn’t necessarily tied to what we do in this world, but rather who we are becoming. Being a doctor, lawyer, or engineer should not be an identity but rather a means to an end. Furthermore, we are instructed to bear illnesses that come to us patiently knowing that it is God who has allowed them and is using this vocation of suffering as a means for salvation.
This pamphlet also touches on the ‘ways of salvation’ that the Lord has given us:
“Some will sanctify their lives being married; others will be single. Some will do it in clerical orders; others as lay people. Some will be monastic; most will live in the everyday secular world.”
But it also affirms the vocation we share in common:
“In a certain sense, every person has the same vocation, which is to be a saint… We can cooperate with God. We can share His holiness. We can become, as the saints themselves teach us, all that God Himself is by His gracious action in our lives”
These last two quotes really sum up the entire matter for me:
“In the eyes of God none is better than the other. None is higher or more praiseworthy. Each must find his or her own way and glorify God through it. Ultimately this is all that matters”
“Being faithful were we are is the basic sign that we will God’s will for our lives”
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! (download by clicking this link or read below)
photo courtesy of Nickolay Khoroshkov