The call is a mystery. It begins and ends with God, but it loops through a very human individual. It is personal, but bigger than the person. The call comes out of who we are as well as shaping who we are. It has both being and doing components…. Those who describe themselves as called mean that they have made a commitment of life into God’s service, to be at his disposal, to be in his employ for the efforts of accomplishing his agenda. – Reggie McNeal (A Work of Heart)
I’ve been thinking a lot about change and faith lately.
I’m sure it’s because I am transitioning from my vocation as a journalist to that of Co-Director of the Office of Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
I can’t begin to tell you how many people have said, “You must really have a lot of faith to leave the newspaper (after 24 years) and start something new.” My reply has been, “Not really. I believe God has called me to this mission.”
Then I started thinking about my response and discovered that what I was finding difficult to reconcile is the idea that it takes “a lot” of faith to move into a place where God is directing us. I believe that faith is very potent and only a small amount may be required for amazing things to happen.
But more reflection brought me to the conclusion that as the proverbial mustard seed is very small, but grows into a big tree (Luke 13:19), so must our faith in God and Christ grow and increase. Because my faith is still growing, I guess I find it difficult to characterize it as “a lot” because my hope and prayer is to have a little more faith each day of my life.
By God’s grace, I have been gifted with enough faith to move from my comfort zone as a journalist (where God placed me to give voice to the voiceless by telling the stories of others) to a place of service in our Dominican community. Just as I followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit from my work as a Juvenile Probation Officer into the field of journalism, I am answering the call of God to leave the newsroom to serve God’s people in a new way.
I admit that it is not easy to leave a place of familiarity and enter into the unknown. But I find peace and great joy in knowing that God’s plan is still in full effect in my life. In his book, A Work of Heart, Reggie McNeal recognizes that God uses culture, community, communion, conflict and the commonplace to shape every person’s heart and to define her/his calling – a unique, divine assignment given by God for divine purposes.
But the call requires faithful and active obedience, unwavering commitment, and devotion from the one who is called. My hope is for us to allow faith to work mightily and powerfully as we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in discerning God’s purpose for our lives.
For me, life is a journey of discovery, development and alignment. As we journey God shows us more about our calling, and the Holy Spirit works to strengthen our heart as we are brought to a point of realignment.
Leaving what I was doing and accepting the call as Co-Director of Associates was a realignment of my life and I am compelled to follow the path to which the Lord has led me.
Each of us has been gifted with an aspect of the glory of God that we can offer to the world. God uses every strength, weakness, heartache, success, relationship and experience to shape our hearts, to draw us closer and to equip us to fulfill our life’s calling.
Lord, teach me to unselfishly serve humanity. – Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.