What is a vocation and how is it discovered?

Vocation is a call. It is knowing who God wants us to become, discovering how we get there, and the tasks and steps we must accomplish and follow. But how do we know what our vocation is, that who, how and why?

To begin with, it deals with discovering those desires that God is putting in your heart. Do you feel an attraction or challenge toward serving others? Do you imagine yourself as a priest, religious sister or brother, as a married or single person with a great dedication to God’s things? Are you seeking a personal encounter with God?

A willingness to come out of yourself and venture toward an encounter with God must follow, which could be unknown and even mysterious. And something or someone must always be left behind. Those who consider their life’s work to be in a religious community leave behind family, possessions, and often their country. Those who consider married life as their vocation must leave the family life that they have known and begin on a new path. The same can be said for those who opt for the single life. It is a matter of choice. What everyone needs to discern is what mission God called has us to and why it was selected over all other securities.

To discern properly you must have seven attitudes or qualities:

1.    Openness. We cannot find God’s will if we enter the process with preconceived ideals that are based on our will.
2.    Generosity. It is like having a blank check so that God can decide what he wants us to give.
3.     Valor. You must have courage because God could be asking for something difficult and risky.
4.    Inner freedom. The deepest desire and principal motivation to do God’s will.
5.    Reflection. Reflect in prayer to hear God.
6.    Clear priorities. The important thing is to serve God.
7.    Do not confuse the end with the means. That is, God is first and everything in life must be directed to him.

It is not an easy process. There are many complications in our world and considering a lifelong commitment is difficult. A lot of people make a commitment to a person or cause, but its only lasts until the first difficulty arrives.  To make a lasting commitment, persevering in spite of the obstacles, is hard. But in reality nothing else is worth it. In what things can you employ your life?

For reflection

What are your heart’s desires? Where is God in these desires? What fears emerge when you consider your life’s journey?  How do you respond to these fears? What do you think God has been asking from you?


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