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Vocation 5: Home

Question:

How have you experienced God enticing you, drawing you, calling you?
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Transcript of Video:

My own experience of vocation has been the extraordinary experience of God actually coming and looking for me and calling me. And one way in which I was particularly aware of this was during the years which I spent at the seminary. In our chapel we had a very beautiful icon of Christ holding the Book of Life. And on that Book of Life was inscribed just one text from scripture, and it was from the gospel of John. I remember it was Chapter 15, Verse 16. And the words were, “You did not choose me but I chose you.”

And those words I used to look at them every day at worship during all those years of training to be a priest. And those words have meant so much to me in the years following in my experience as a parish priest, particularly when things were difficult or when I was beginning to feel, “Oh, I wish I perhaps did a different job or not chosen this way of life.” I remembered those words, “But you did not choose me I chose you.” And I realize that all through my life God has been there calling me, enticing me, choosing me, drawing me to himself and it’s kind of an extraordinary and wonderful experience. And that is how I see vocation as God, the one who so loves me, that he longs to call me, ultimately to call me home.

– Br. Geoffrey Tristram

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35 Comments

  1. Jose Latour on April 19, 2014 at 02:27

    I have heard God calling me to him for all of my 52 years. Most of the time I’m so consumed with daily life that I just smile at him and say “be right there”…and I’m a no-show. Once in a while I am so staggered by the strength of his call – that “slap upside the head” so accurately described above – that I have little choice, drop everything, and simply run to him. On those rare moments the rewards are impossible to explain. Now I wait, listening, hoping I don’t miss the next call.

  2. LindaR on April 14, 2014 at 10:50

    I grew up outside the Church, not even baptized until I nagged my mom into arranging it when I was ten and a friend told me I could never go to heaven. I thought God was a vengeful scorekeeper who wants to punish us severely for everything, in the uniquely personal ways He knows will hurt each of us most. Maybe God laughed at how wrong I was. He kept putting help in my path, including a very gentle priest and a former monk and others who radiated God’s love. These were people I had been trained to run from categorically, but they quietly and persistently loved me and became family. God was always here, loving me even before I was baptized, including helping me survive decades of abuse and a clinical death experience from it. There were no pre-requisites or conditions or prices demanded by God or those good people — just love and the very quiet invitation to start learning to trust Him. The love is too amazing to resist. Trust is growing, gradually, and with it the desire to try to become one of the loving people in the path of other scared and hurt ones.

    • Win on April 15, 2014 at 06:02

      mmm so glad you found those loving people in your life Linda. I was just rereading some of our previous thoughts here and someone’s word for the day was to “put on love” like a piece of clothing! What a good way to begin each day. I’m finding it hard to say goodbye to this Lenten gift the brothers have given to us all and for the wonderful time spent in conversation

  3. Win on April 14, 2014 at 08:07

    Home…. What a lovely word! I’ve had so many homes during this journey, and I look forward to that final “coming home” with excitement as I grow older and realize that this part of the journey is coming to an end sooner rather than later. How blessed we all are to have had this experience of life. It has been fun for me traveling with all of you this Lent and I so appreciate all the thoughtful videos and answers to those videos. It’s been a sort of “home” here too. May this Holy Week be a blessing to everyone and looking forward to that Easter Resurrection! Thank you all.

  4. Marilyn Weir on April 13, 2014 at 19:37

    I’m not sure when God has enticed or called me. I am aware that when I move in a direction that pleases Him, I will feel confirmed in some way. God will show me something to teach me or put the right person(s) in my path to help me. Sometimes my spiritual growth will move at high speed and I’ll feel like I’m not sure if I can keep up.
    I wish God would give me clearer signs of what He wants me to do; where He wants me to be. I mostly feel lost in the world, never really knowing what I should be doing.

  5. Kathy on April 12, 2014 at 01:10

    Praying and Listening to God – I like paul’s posting ’cause I also try to begin and end my day with this “That is my prayer everyday. God, what do you want me to do? to be?”

    Thank you to the Brothers and everyone who have shared their posts – this has been one of the best connection and reflection! I hope to carry so many of these into my daily life-even wrote several down so I can revisit them. God bless all of you.

  6. Paul on April 11, 2014 at 19:18

    That is my prayer everyday. God, what do you want me to do? to be?

  7. Casey on April 11, 2014 at 18:46

    I have called your name and you are mine.

    Casey, follow the warm breeze and see spring awaken.

    Casey, the synchronicity with Parents as Teachers and CASA is exciting.

    Casey, your open schedule matches perfectly with the days that Anne needs help moving.

    Casey, that Facebook video about Ursula really speaks yo your belief that all kids need models that look like them.

  8. gwedhen nicholas on April 11, 2014 at 16:35

    I have really felt God calling me to love. To share in the love that ever goes between the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. To be filled with and live in that love and then share it with others.

  9. Michael Kolenick on April 11, 2014 at 14:39

    It wasn’t until I had committed myself to Christ when I began feeling compelled to work for Christ. Now that I’m retired, I am able to do more of the work he would like me to do; through helping those in need.

  10. John Okerman on April 11, 2014 at 14:37

    As I reflect on my life and the work I have done, the successes I’ve had, and the accomplishments/success I did not achieve, the professions I chose, and some of the professions I wish I had chosen I realize that God chose me to do the things that I have done. I know that God loves me but I also think that God chose me to do what I have done in life.

    • Leslie on April 11, 2014 at 20:32

      John, thank you. For me, it’s kind of the inverse. When I wonder what I am doing, I can remind myself that God called me there.

  11. Annette Foisie OSL on April 11, 2014 at 12:56

    This teaching reminds me of a wonderful old hymn:
    I sought the Lord, and afterward i knew
    He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me;
    It was not I that found, O Saviour true;
    No, I was found by Thee.
    Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
    I walked and sank not on the stormy sea;
    ‘Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
    As Thou, dear Lord, on me.
    I find, I walk, I love, but O the whole
    of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee;
    For Thou were long beforehand with my soul,
    Always Thou lovedst me.
    Amen.

  12. Kathleen Sheehy on April 11, 2014 at 11:18

    One of my favorite hymns is: I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew: He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me. It was not I that found, O Savior true. No, I was found of Thee.

    God initiates the contact. When I look back on my life, I see how He orchestrated events, sometimes with a great sense of humor, to guide me along His chosen way for me. But especially I think back to how He revealed Himself to me, and made it clear that He wanted to be in relationship with me.

    Thanks, Brother Geoffrey, for a lovely meditation today.

  13. Jane Anne Gleason on April 11, 2014 at 10:31

    I have been aware of God calling me to two vocations in my life. First God called me (screaming and kicking) to become a nurse. Secondly, God called me to expand my role to attend Seminary for a MTS which lead me to a position teaching science, religion being a school nurse and finally a Lay Chaplain at a small Episcopal School. I know it was God’s hand that guided me in each of these directions. My plan was to become a school Liberian…that was not what God planned.

  14. Cush on April 11, 2014 at 10:23

    I do not seem to heed subtle messages and during my life God has had to hit me up side the head to get my attention. I have let fear get in the way of answering a call. It is easy to be “too busy”. But if I am quiet and listen the result is usually a gift to valuable to describe. I hear it in the reflection today — God has chosen you.

    This series has been inspiring and really enhanced my Lenten discipline — thank you.

    • MRM on April 15, 2014 at 09:39

      perfectly expressed

  15. Sr. Donna Morgan on April 11, 2014 at 10:14

    Brother Geoffrey has explained what God’s calling feels like for me most eloquently. No matter how far I strayed, God gently called to me. I did not want to hear Him calling me and I tried to ignore him as often as not. Thankfully, the gentle voice is no longer ignored and He is calling me ever closer. I am so thankful that he did not give up; that He gently, and sometimes not so gently, nudged me and pushed me until I could no longer ignore and heard and listened.

  16. Susan Oris on April 11, 2014 at 09:59

    I was called as a child to be a nurse. I just knew that was what I was to do. As I near the end of my nursing career, I am listening to find out what I should be doing next.

  17. Christopher Barnhart on April 11, 2014 at 09:43

    In my wife made her Cursillo. After sha attended Cursillo, she asked me if I would be interested in attending Cursillo. I was very reluctant, I had left our church 12 years earlier for reasons I will not go into here. She was persistent in her efforts to get me to go. I finally gave up and said I wopuld go. Several weeks before the Cursillo I had doubts about attending, Then one night I had a dream. I was standing in one corner of empty room. In the opposite corner was an open door and a crowd of former minsters, rectors, priest, and bishops I had known in the past. I could not see their faces but I knew who they were. They said to things to me. First “Go” and the second “Come”. I took it to mean “Go to Cursillo” and ” Come back to church”. So I went to Cursillo and after I started attending church again. This has made a real difference in our marriage and my relationship with God. I awake early each morning spending time reading the Lectionary, daily meditations, and the reading the SSJE offer for that day. My wife and I share several ministries together including Cursillo, Mothers of Preschooler (MOP), Hope Van (Serving hot meals to the Homeless) and Missio Engage 2012. I also provide Healing Prayers during Communion, serve as a Greeter prior to services and attend weeking breakfast/study meetings of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. My life is full of Faith, Love and Hope because of God’s call to serve.

  18. Deacon Susan in California on April 11, 2014 at 09:30

    When I moved with my American husband from UK to USA, I found it difficult to feel at home in either land and I stumbled making a household that reflected both cultures. Over the years I have come to know that in God is my home. My soul rejoices wherever I am set down. “Bloom where you’re planted” as the song says. Brothers, thank you for the conversations. Have a blessed Holy Week and a spectacular Easter season, everyone.

  19. Maureen on April 11, 2014 at 09:10

    Chosen me to do what?
    At times I thought God called me to various ways that later were shown to not be God’s choice. Did God want me there for a particular time, for particular people? Or did I mishear God altogether?
    Now it seems as though God has called again, but I seem stalled again.
    Oh God, help me discerningly hear you–or at least have me do your will, seemingly by accident.

  20. Lorna Harris on April 11, 2014 at 09:01

    Often I have experienced God calling me in dreams. It is easier to listen then, as I am not so distracted by the evens of daily life. Knowing God calls me and being able to listen to that call so that I hear it is the challenge!

  21. Pam on April 11, 2014 at 08:17

    For most of my life I certainly felt no calling from God to anything, because I had built up a strong wall of protection around myself. In a moment of healing, which felt as dramatic as Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, I suddenly knew God’s voice calling me to life. Many other encounters with the holy have happened since that day, but that demolished the stronghold I had built, which I realized had become a prison. At the same time that I discovered who I am (God’s beloved), I discovered God, who had been there all along, of course. My gratitude for God’s healing knows no bounds, and I fell in love with him. My life has been transformed. God calls all of us to life, just as surely as he called Lazarus: “Lazarus, come out!” That call is for all of us.

    • Ruth West on April 11, 2014 at 22:26

      Pam’s final comment stirs me to know that I have not chosen God so much as He has chosen me. He tells me to “Come out” just as He spoke to Lazarus. I have known his
      call many times, sometimes more strongly than others. Thank you, dear Brother, and thanks to all those who have posted comments.

  22. Julie Watt Faqir on April 11, 2014 at 08:15

    Timing as “they” say is everything, and as I am watching this video I am smiling because I am getting ready this morning to meet others from our Church Altar Guild to prepare the Church for Palm Sunday. God is calling me to do this ministry…rather literally this morning.

    In my life, God is continually calling to me to listen to all life has to offer, given by him, and to not worry so much.

  23. Christopher Epting on April 11, 2014 at 08:09

    I have experienced God enticing, calling me in the fact that I have never “sought” a job or position since ordination — parish assignments, election as a bishop, the call to serve as The Episcopal Church’s ecumenical officer, even my service in retirement as interim Dean of a cathedral and Assisting Bishop of Chicago; all came to me, rather than me looking for them. Perhaps God was doing the inviting?

    • Tammy Lee on April 12, 2014 at 21:51

      I love the idea of invitation instead of job search….” you did not choose me but I chose you…called you, consecrated you,”
      Thanks for the reminder as I open myself to the possibilities God will lay before me….I trust!

  24. Br. Stephen Francis Arnold, OSB on April 11, 2014 at 07:38

    Without my knowing it, my moving back home to be near by elderly parents began a blossoming process of becoming a Benedictine monk, a Chaplain, and finding a welcoming Episcopal church! Thanks be to God!

  25. Tricia on April 11, 2014 at 07:23

    Thank you, brothers all, for this wonder-full series. You have helped me examine my life, my actions, my vocation, and helped me renew my relationship with God.

  26. Jim on April 11, 2014 at 06:05

    I often feel God calling me or enticing me in the beauty of nature or the kindness of people. Unlike some, I can’t say I’ve ever really heard God’s voice in the “Ten Commandments” kind of speaking–which would be kind of scary but definitely clear!

  27. Charlotte Cole on April 11, 2014 at 03:45

    I find that if God has something planned for me that he wants me to be aware of, or he wants me to meditate on then he continually prompts me through what I am reading or experiencing in the scriptures. Sometimes it might be a whole passage, yet other times just a word or two.
    Particularly poignant for me during my call, were the words ‘I thirst’.

    • Win on April 14, 2014 at 07:34

      I’ve a feeling you receive “living water”!

  28. Bob on April 11, 2014 at 02:07

    I have to admit to maybe hearing small voice of god, maybe, in the evening or early morning,
    probably not.
    But it is a coincidence.
    Or I put it to the goodness of people,
    but this might be God.

    • Win on April 14, 2014 at 07:32

      Maybe even in silence Bob?

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