How do I find mine?
Discovering, or “discerning” your vocation is a process. You won’t finish it today. The good news is that you already have everything you need to begin, because the best place to begin is with yourself:
· What do you already know about yourself?
· What are your interests?
· Is there something you’re particularly good at, or that you especially enjoy doing?
· What kind of personality or temperament do you have?
· What are you passionate about?
· What has your past experience taught you— through success or failure?
· What particular gifts do others recognize in you?
· What activities have you been affirmed in by others?
· What activities have made you feel most fulfilled?
Answering these questions helps us scout out our inner typography, to know who and what we are. Discerning vocation is a process of self-discovery. As you go deep into your past and present desires, you’ll begin to get a portrait of yourself, which is the first step toward discovering your vocation.
Take some time to think deeply on these questions. Start gathering data. Examine your past choices, and consider what they reveal about you. Ask your parents and friends what they see in you. You might journal about the answers you discover, to give focus to your thoughts. As you do this, ask God to teach and direct you.
God wants to be part of this process, because God wants us to become the people we were created to be. It’s not that God has a pre-determined, set plan in mind that we must discover and accept, whether we like it or not. It’s more that God has a deep yearning for our well-being that arises out of God’s great love for us. In this, God is like a good parent. Good parents don’t dictate the particular path their children must follow; rather, they hope that their children will find work that is meaningful and worthwhile, that they will use their gifts for the cause of good, and that they will experience happiness and fulfillment – no matter what particular path they choose. So too, God’s chief concern is not whether we live in Poughkeepsie or Des Moines, whether we practice law or run a business, or whether we marry or remain single. God’s chief concern is that we discover life – the life we were created to live – and that we live that life as fully and as completely as we can.
Take some time to reflect on the questions above. Next week, we’ll talk about how to know if, in our answers, we’re responding to God’s yearning or ours.