As I said a couple weeks ago, my next few posts are going to be addressing the model of developing our call to to build up the Kingdom of God. Today, I’m mostly focused on the idea of that call, and whether or not we will be able to hear it. So often, we’ll hear people say they wish God would tell them their calling, or talk about missing their calling, or any other number of complaints. If God really does have a plan for us, how can we be confident we’ll know it when we see it?
The first step to finding our calling, as you might expect, is looking for it. The fact is that, yes, God is calling us all. Sometimes we get a little self-defeating, saying things about how God can’t possibly use us. I’m too sinful. I’m too stupid. I’m too new to faith. I’m too old. I’m too young. It doesn’t take a very deep look at Christ’s apostles to see how weak this claim really is. Peter was uneducated and an emotional hot head, but he was also passionate. John was very young, but he was also eloquent. Paul was very educated, but he was also confrontational and occasionally proud. The same is true with us. We all come from different backgrounds. We bring our personal histories and all the lessons from our lives with us. We have all our own unique blend of strengths and weaknesses. All of these experiences make us uniquely ready to answer that calling God has for us.
Once we know that there is a calling, though, there is still the matter of finding out what it is. This brings us to the idea of discernment. Discernment is basically a prayerful approach to figuring something out. There are a lot of different ways to go about discernment, and God can use any number of ways to try and get His calling through to us. Through our own desires, through our own thoughts, the words of others, or most any other method are all certainly in play. There is one sure factor, though. We must pray. You have to spend time in conversation with God. Either with the Scriptures, the Rosary, the Saints, Adoration, and even just a simple moment to ourselves. A quick clarification, though: Prayer is NOT us talking with God. It is a conversation with God. A conversation means that, yes, we talk, but we also listen. Sometimes, we just need to shut up for a while and give God, who speaks in that still, small whisper, a chance to be heard.