“Vocation is just there,” said Dr. Emilie Townes. She was speaking to a group of us gathered to explore helping young adults in intentional communities understand vocation. She then asked, “How do we recognize it?”
Defining vocation is hard. We can put big words to it, but really its the kind of thing that is defined by how a life is lived. Having thought a lot about vocation and calling, I have words I can use. But I find that what makes it most real is being around people who understand their vocation so deeply that living into it provides them a grace and authority by which something bigger than themselves flows through them.
They have learned to be just there; to be who they are; to do what faith demands. The Spirit flows through them, making fancy words seem less relevant.
Vocation is not primarily about definitions, templates, and arrival. It is, rather, a never ending process of being, receiving, and giving. It is about that very spiritual stuff that should just be there if we are seeking to love and serve in community.
How is vocation there with you? If you don’t know, fear not. Be patient. Look around for someone with the grace and authority that makes you think: they are living their vocation. Get closer to them. Recognize and be recognized. After all, vocation is not just about you. It is also about community.