I've been thinking a lot lately about vocation. What does it mean, really, to seek one's vocation and to discover it? Is it a moment of self-discovery, a flash of long-awaited insight? Or is recognizing your vocation more along the lines of a growing realization of that for which you were created?
If a vocation is a call by God, issued in eternity, awaiting our free response... then I guess it's always there. Waiting to be discovered, sure, but always present from the moment of our conception. So that whole Augustinian notion of restless hearts... might that restlessness be somewhat assuaged on earth once the call is answered?
Will there be a sense of rightness, a feeling of relief when we finally "pick up the phone?" asking the One on the other end of the line, in all sincerity, "What do you want?"
I don't know. And I don't know if I'll ever know, for certain. And that makes me feel... yucky.
I hate not being in control. And I am not, it turns out, in control. Of much. Of anything, some days. I'm a victim of circumstance in this crazy, sometimes hostile place we call reality. At least that how it can feel.
But here is where freedom comes into play. Real freedom, the freedom for which our world wrongly eschews in favor of the oft-touted freedom from (i.e. freedom from pregnancy, from morals, from consequences.)
I'm talking about the freedom which no circumstance can remove, the freedom of Victor Frankl's Theresienstadt, the freedom to look at my life today (not 5 years down the road) and either accept what has been given to me with gratitude and humility, or to rail against heaven and the unfairness of it all, cursing the One who has chosen to present me this day with crosses or roses, refusing to see the interchangeability of the two.
I still do wonder, will there be a day in the future, an "aha" moment where I'm suddenly there, living in the very thick of it, up to my ears in vocation? Or is it to be a series of days and weeks and months of sometimes wearily and sometimes cheerfully rolling out of bed and casting my eyes heavenward and asking "now what?"
What today? I can't see tomorrow, can't plan for 6 months from now, can't predict next year... but I can live today's vocation, whatever it may be. Student, sister, employee, friend, athlete, girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother... they're actually all transitional, at least from an earthly perspective. So once I'm "there"... will I really be satisfied?
Pardon the profundity, but I tend to get really contemplative this time of year, at the advent of summertime and on the eve of that greatest of summer traditions: the first (local) Dave Matthews concert.
Really puts one in a philosophical mindset for some reason...