Quick Thoughts On Finding Your Vocation
“Despite the American myth, I cannot be or do whatever I desire – a truism, to be sure, but a truism we often defy. Our created natures make us like organisms in an ecosystem: there are some roles and relationships in which we thrive and others in which we wither and die.” –Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
- Where in your current role does life feel most like thriving?
- What relationships in your life feel most life-giving?
- How much quality time do you spend in those roles and relationships in which you thrive?
- If the answer to either is “not much” what can you do today (maybe even RIGHT NOW) to clear some space, take stock of your roles and relationships, and re-center on the stuff that matters most?
Most of us are frustrated that our current job isn’t our “dream job” or we’re frustrated that we can’t articulate what our dream job looks like or we’re suspicious (and rightly so) that any job is going to bring the level of satisfaction with life that we’re so craving. I know that, at least for me, this just sucks.
I don’t like the tension of having some parts of my role feel great while many other parts feel awful (and I am fortunate enough to have a GREAT job). I don’t like being surrounded by some people I really like and others that feel like porcupines (thanks, John Ortberg, for that memorable image).
I just want life to be easy and perfect. All the time. I want to be or do whatever I desire whenever I want. In short, I want the “American myth” that Palmer exposes in the quote above. Or maybe in shorter, I want to be my own god.
But maybe – hopefully – under all of the clawing for an easy way to change the world and be loved by all, there is a part of me that simply wants to shine like the light God made me to be (“You are the light of the world…”, from Matthew 5). And I think that’s a good thing. And if that’s how you’re feeling today – caught in the middle of things, not quite clear where to go next – you’re in good company. You’re probably on the right track. And you were most definitely made to shine.
Don’t give up. Keep moving. One step in front of the other. Keep remembering, searching for clues, trusting that your Creator has not abandoned you despite the circumstances you face and those awful, whiny voices in your head.
I haven’t figured this all out yet, either. I wake up most every morning wondering who the heck I am and what the heck I’m going to do with my life when I grow up (and I’m a grown up with a great life and a fairly strong sense of who I am).
I’m rooting for you. I’m rooting for me. Let the rest of us know how your own search is going – we need your encouragement and your camaraderie. There’s a unique place in this world for you and me both. Let’s do some more searching today.(photo credit: Michael Tzerevchov for Imagebank)