What do you expect when you plant a garden? To grow and harvest fresh fruit, fresh veggies, fresh flowers? But what if something happens beyond your expectations, then what will you do? Like gardening, if God’s call is not what you dream about, then what will you do? The process of vocation discernment in which God invites each of us to grow in compassion about our daily call is like the process I want to share with you about my compassion toward rabbits in my garden.
I planted sweet potatoes in our back yard, and as I did, I imagined eating delicious sweet potato leaves. Sweet potato leaves have healthy nutrients and provide physical healing.
One day I realized that some leaves were partially cut. The following day, more leaves were chopped off. It was the garden rabbits who ate these leaves, and I could not let the rabbits ruin my garden.
I fenced my garden with string. It did not work. I used vinegar because rabbits do not like the smell of vinegar. Ironically, that night, the heavy rain washed away the scent of the vinegar. I thought about buying a garden fence to protect my garden. But then, I questioned doing this because the rabbits might be hungry and city rabbits have a tough time finding veggies. Instead of fencing, I began to plant more sweet potatoes for them. Now, I feel happy every time I water the garden because I know the rabbits will enjoy it. I did not expect garden rabbits to eat my sweet potato leaves, but I learned to make changes and to be at peace with them.
Sometimes, God’s call is not what you expect. You plan for your future, and suddenly, you hear God calling you to consider living in religious life or changing your ministry or your way of life to respond to the needs of our times. This call may disturb your dreams and settled life. However, like the rabbits who kept eating my veggies, no matter what I did to prevent it, God’s call is always there, nudging you and being persistent. When you experience this moment of God’s nudging, be attentive and trust that God will provide in abundance.
Thus, under God’s abundance, if today you feel or hear God’s voice, do not postpone or delay your discernment process. Take some concrete actions to allow your compassion about this call grow in you. Bring your concerns and feelings to God in your prayers, listen to your inner feelings, share with those whom you trust, especially your spiritual director, and contact our vocation team. We have a great discernment program for you to reflect on your vocation call. Once you follow how God is calling you, God will provide more than enough for you as you live this call, and you will find joy, peace, and fulfillment. Take a leap of faith and begin the journey.