When Doug Marrone took over as head coach of the Buffalo Bills two years ago, he said he was there for one reason . . . to win the Super Bowl. Neil Armstrong focused 10 years of his life to stepping on the moon. Hundreds of young actors, dancers and singers are starving themselves for the chance of performing in a Broadway show. An expectant mother’s water just broke. She’s about to enter heavy labor for her third child.
Passion makes human beings do courageous, selfless, amazing things. It lifts us up and out of ourselves. This “out of ourselves” is the hallmark of love. Love moves us to stop looking at ourselves to see the world around us . . . its beauty, its ugliness, its need. Love compels us to act.
God Himself felt the effects of His infinite love and was moved. “God so loved the world that in the fullness of time He sent His only Son.” (Jn 3:16). As Christians, we believe we too are “sent”. Just before his Ascension, at the great commissioning of his disciples, Jesus tells them, “Go out to all the world to tell the Good News.” (Mk 16:15).
So, what story are you telling? What is your passion? Your purpose?
I think of my father and how he might have answered that. He had several passions – his life insurance business, his garden, politics, and his parish. But, before everything else, there was my mother and we children. In fact, every other “passion” was indulged in only because it made his main mission (family) . . . happier.
Family was my parent’s vocation. And, here’s the most important thing about “vocation”. (Latin. Vocare, “to call”) . . . they saw themselves as having been given this task by God. The joys and sorrows of family life were lived with the confidence that this was what God had asked them to do with their lives – their purpose for being on this earth.
So, what’s your vocation, your call from God? Generally it starts where your heart goes most often and most happi-ly. Usually, it involves another person who captures your heart and creates a desire to always be with them. God put these desires in us to guide us to his “call”.
Sometimes God gives someone a “wider picture” of life, which captures their imagination and calls forth all their creative energies. Some work, some fascination, some desire to make better; these can make for a path in life that uses the deepest part of a human heart.
Jesus tells us that in pursuing the deeper inclinations of our heart we are “seeking the Kingdom of God” and this world comes to experience the goodness He had in mind when he created us.
Part of our vocation to the world is to alert young people to their “call” from God. Simple questions and conversation at meals can help them to think about these things. Questions like:
- What’s your favorite thing to do? Why is it your favorite?
- What makes you really happy? Again . . . Why?
- What do you think you have inside you to make this a better world?
- I think God has given you a special gift of ________. What do you think God may want you to do with it?
- To your children . . . “Let’s pray every day that God will show you the path that will make you the best person you can be.” (Parents, why not slip this little prayer into the Grace before meals: “And, dear God, show us the path for our lives, so we can do your work and make this a better world.”)
God loves you. Trust Him.