“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
Discovering your spiritual gifts will help you find your vocation. If you are asking yourself, what is a vocation, here’s the definition:
A vocation is an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained, or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.
At one point in the world’s history, vocation was an idea reserved for priests, nuns and monks who devoted themselves to God. Martin Luther changed that kind of thinking when he said:
A cobbler, a smith, a farmer, each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops, and every one by means of his own work or office must benefit and serve every other, that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, even as all the members of the body serve one another…”
All of us have a vocation, or calling in the plan of God. We don’t have to be pastors or missionaries; we can use our gifts in our church, our community and our careers. The challenge is to be aware of this and make a conscious effort to serve others. When you do this, you will find yourself growing in God’s grace and doing things you probably never imagined.
For example, before I retired, our personnel officer made a visit to me and I shared my feeling that our hospital no longer cared about our lowest level employees; small benefits were being cut that meant little to most of us, but quite a bit to these people — for example, no discount at the hospital cafeteria. Because I spoke out, he created an “Angel Fund”– money designated to help employees who were struggling with a particular situation — serious illness, for example. I served on that committee and it is still going on years later. It’s something I would never have imagined doing.
I am an introvert, but because I am passionate about spiritual growth, I became the leader of a Via de Cristo retreat. I love to write and encourage people, and so I wrote a Bible Study for the women of our denomination — this required me to go to a conference and stand up in front of 200 women to give a devotional reading! If anyone had told me when I was twenty that I would do such things, I would have laughed (hmmm– maybe like Sarah when God told her she would have a child at 95!).
Anyway, my point is this — follow your gifts, follow God’s leading, and you will find yourself in the most unexpected places. You’ll be amazed at what you and Christ can do together.