Frederick Buechner very famously said that "the place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet." Isn't that lovely?
I'm not sure it's true. I'd like it to be true, but I'm not sure it is.
Think of Jonah. (I love to think of Jonah. Possibly my favorite book in the Bible.) I really, really get it when he cries out to God, "Are you KIDDING ME? They do all this terrible stuff, and you're letting them off SCOT-FREE?!?!?!
This does not sound like Jonah's deep gladness.
And Moses. You know I've been thinking of Moses lately. Moses was not excited to take God's call to be the Mouthpiece of the Lord. Pretty well turned it down, actually. And then when the Israelites kept complaining to him in the wilderness? Or when he came down from seeing God on Mt. Sinai, and they were knee-deep in debauchery?
Moses was not loving ministry.
So, instead of deep gladness in the work itself (in which I am presently skeptical), I'm thinking instead of Nouwen, McNeill, and Morrison's description (I'm still reading their Compassion) of Jesus's obedience to the Father:
Obedience, as it is embodied in Jesus Christ, is a total listening, a giving attention with no hesitation or limitations, a being "all ear." It is an expression of the intimacy that can exist between two persons. Here the one who obeys knows without restriction the will of the one who commands and has only one all-embracing desire: to live out that will ... When used by Jesus, the word obedience has no association with fear, but rather is the expression of his most intimate, loving relationship.
I'm thinking vocation is about being as immersed in the love of God as possiblye and being directed by that love.
Though, come to think of it, that definition might not apply to Moses and Jonah, either.
Which leads me to the happy conclusion that we can be used by God, even if we're bull-headed and crotchety. Praise be to God.
But Jesus's way seems better.
Insight from Different Versions of Psalm 126
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