Wednesday Prayers: Evolving Vocation

There's a common thread in my prayers lately: an awful lot of those on my list are at pivotal vocational points:
  • Leaving (or not) an academic career for the unknown.
  • Losing a job, but committing more deeply to art.
  • Defending a dissertation!
  • Nurturing a spiritual direction practice in a new place, pastoring and bishop-ing, staying focused while committed and open to what might come.
  • Looking ahead to the mystery of ordained ministry.
  • Considering a new direction after a beloved institution... becomes a different environment.
  • Waiting, and waiting, and waiting... to hear if the Dream Job is going to come through.
  • Looking ahead into choppy chunks of time, trying to find a consistent call (and a balance with motherhood!).
At this moment, I am very happy with the freedom of my loosely definitely vocation. Partly because I'm not sure we can define vocation in advance (I've talked about that before). The combined effects of each day's steps-- both bold and tentative-- create each unique vocation. Even something like priesthood-- there's Kate's priesthood, and Jane's, and Stephen's, and they're all different ministries. There are commonalities, but they are not the same priesthood. No two mothers, no two wives, teachers, physicists, even! have the same approach, the same results. Rather than molding ourselves to fit a tidy vocation, we can watch our own evolve, one piece at a time. (Mind, sometimes it does look a bit like Johnny Cash's Cadillac in his "One Piece at a Time!") I'll admit that this is a particularly scary way of doing things. And I may sound like a moron at my class reunion. People like to hear linear plans.

These wonderful people on my list-- they're all doing neat things. They're asking good questions, and it's cool to watch.

All freedom seems to require courage initially. If the only way to get rid of fear is to walk straight through it (and I believe that's the case), then surely the path to our own specific call is going to take some bravery.

But take heart, dear ones! The Lord is with us! And, thank heavens, is patient with us-- "For God knows how we were made; God remembers that we are dust." (Ps.103:14)

Did you see yourself in my list? I might be praying for you. If you didn't, leave a note in the comments, and I will!


  1. Anonymous10:27 AM

    ok. this is my official 'note'.

  2. I might be there, but someone I love is on the list. and let me say, I so dig Johnny Cash.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins