Sunday, January 26, 2014

Finding our "calling"

What are we called to do?
When I think of this question, my thoughts immediately go to people like Gandhi, King, Mandela, Jesus, and Cesar Chavez.
Who but they could have done what they did?
We've all met people of whom we say, "They were born to do that."
Often, we think of clergy or religious as being called, but non religious are also called, we all are.
Some people are called to the missions, to help people, often in other countries but also in our own.
I believe nursing and health care is a calling. But I've also know nurses to whom nursing is not their calling.
Your favorite teachers had probably found their calling and maybe your favorite coach.
Some professions lend themselves to us thinking of them as callings, but I think all professions can be callings.
I think it's more they way the individual person thinks of, and approaches their work that makes it a calling.
I've met taxi and bus drivers who can brighten my morning with their warm greeting and ease of laughter, with their willingness to tell stories and listen compassionately to my worries.
To many of us social activism is a calling.
To start, we must have a passion for it, a willingness to work long and sometimes difficult hours on it.
It's something we could not, "not be doing."
It is a passion, but more than that.
What makes a passion a calling is a belief that in carrying it out we are fulfilling part of our purpose in life.
Most important, we do it not because it benefits us, but rather, it benefits others.
Their is an ethical component to a calling.
So, a banker or a manager or a CEO, may have found their calling.  It's not that they are good at what they do, although that follows as a side effect.  It's that they are driven to it out of an inner need and they are not motivated by personal gain, but out of how they can help others.
We can have more than one calling in our lives, they can change over time.
How do we find it?
The answer to that is in the name.
A "calling."
We need to be listening for it.

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