|High Falls, DuPont State Forest, NC|
Before we tell our life what we intend to do with it, we have to listen for what it intends to do with us. Before we tell our life what truths and values we have decided to live up to, we have to let our life tell us what truths we already embody, what values we already represent. In other words, there is an inner life that wants to live through us. By listening to our lives, we can better discern what we are meant to do and what we are meant to be, what God wants us to be and to do.
Today I understand vocation quite differently – not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received. Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original self-hood given me at birth by God.
I'm not sure of the page numbers or such. The link above give a much larger excerpt.It is a strange gift, this birthright gift of self. Accepting it turns out to be even more demanding than attempting to become someone else! I have sometimes responded to that demand by ignoring the gift, or hiding it, or fleeing from it, or squandering it – and I think I am not alone. There is a Hasidic tale that reveals, with amazing brevity, both the universal tendency to want to be someone else and the ultimate importance of becoming one’s self: Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man, said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”