Matter of Adding Up. The new calling in vocations promotion: “There is no other way to discover one’s vocation tan through a relationship with God…” (7/10)
Some days ago I spoke with Araceli (the name is not real, the story is). She’s 29 years old,single and living with her parents. Her dad is a buisnessman and her mother is a housewife.
She has a degree in marketing and is about to start a postgraduate degree in advertising. She works from 9 to 6 (with an hour for lunch) in a company that offers her a good salary and all other benefits, plus monthly bonuses for being at work on time and other reasons.
Most of her income goes to clothing, gas and trips. But she still mentions she feels she’s lacking opportunities for advancement. She feels she’s really not putting much effort at work and so she feels she’s not that productive. She admits she spends a lot of hours watching Netflix series, Facebook and Whatsapp.
Every now and then Araceli will work from home because she doesn’t see any good reason to go to the office. She wants to keep her job to keep up with her lifestyle.
This is the same case in many young men and women that feel stuck in life. Vocations promoters are less surprised that our modern youth are considering a stable vocation at later ages. A twenty-nine year old is already taking too long to start settling down.
It’s this type of cases where you accompany a persona and you start listening to the details which are of great significance. This young woman has established herself in a comfortable and secure way of living. She needs to get out of her feelings of insecurity and start finding what is the true meaning of her life.
I share this story to come to the point that accompanying someone like Araceli demands a sincere partnership which will encourage the person to seriously confront certain issues in life. One thing we can see clearly in Araceli’s life is the lack of relationships; all her life winds around her home, work and shopping. Where are her real friends? Without relationships there is no personal growth. And without a relationship with God, it will be difficult to have a clear vision of the essential aspects in life which demand vital decision-making.
The vocations promotion ministry has the mission of opening different ways for God to speak and call those He wants for his service. God is always calling through whispers and at times screaming, but no heart will ever listen if it’s not willing to do so, opting to be entertained by other voices, noises, distractions. We must learn and teach others how to activate the inner ability to listen to God with our heart, and awaken the desire to find the true meaning of life. We must help others in creating spiritual and physical spaces to listen to God.
The calling to being dischiples of Christ is a crucial matter for the heart that seeks relationships. And it’s serious buisness between God and the person to discover how to live this calling in one out of many concrete available Christian ways. Araceli knows a lot about advertising, design and convincing others to buy a product, but she still has a subject to pass: learning how to live the adventure of searching beyond what she controls. If she doesn’t go beyond this point in her life, she will continue having difficulties in finding new ways of personal fulfillmente.
It may be too theorical and tiring to insist on life as a project, as a vocation… but to those that get to discover their calling as an interior assurance, his/her way is completely illuminated. Some consider that their calling as being a matter of reaching self-fulfillmente in their profession. And we question why Araceli, having everything that’s needed to becoming a true professional in her career, she is still unsatisfied with her life; why is her heart still complaining with feelings of discouragement and disenchantment. Simply because life exists for a whole lot more.
Anyone’s calling has to do with relationships; coming out of one’s self and venture in friendships, affection and love. These things take us out of our controlled and well calculated comforts, and they demand we relocate ourselves in life many times. This surely happens when we have a relationship with God. We stop asking ourselves what we want and what can make us feel better, and pass to a more important question: What does God want from me? What does He want me to do in life?
Definitely, a vocations promoter looks for ways to open a person’s list of options, and open the way to listening to God who invites us all to live a more fully joyful life. As vocations promoters, we know that we must teach others to pray because it is through prayer that a person grows in knowledge of what God’s plan is for his/her life; and through prayer, a person will grown in the freedom needed to respond to God’s calling. Prayer can be done by meditating over God’s Word, Taize style of prayer, Vocational Holy Hours, etc.
Fabián Martín Gómez, augustinian recollect