sometimes your call is like a hurricane—loud and dramatic.
Sometimes your call is like a gale that blows and pauses.
Sometimes your call is like a gentle zephyr that is scarcely noticeable.
Wind of God, blow upon us as you will.
Be the refreshment and the driving force in our lives.
Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
(Amos 7: 14-15)
Despite not having the right lineage, the recognized training or membership of the prophetic association, Amos had a strong sense of being taken off the land to become God’s prophet to people. Often, we cannot attest to such a dramatic tug which causes a change in our vocation and the challenge involves sifting different possibilities for their perceived worth and significance.
A television interview with the actor Gregory Peck was followed by questions from the audience. One man said, “My name is the Rev. Thomas Jones and I have observed, Mr. Peck, that you have played many times in films, the role of a priest. Did you ever contemplate the possibility of becoming a clergyman?” Gregory Peck said, “I grew up a strict Catholic, attended mass every week and at the age of seven or eight I felt a call to be a priest. But,” he said, “I quickly recovered from that and I found my vocation as an actor.” After the audience expressed its amusement, the clergyman was given a chance to reply and he said, “Pardon me for saying this Mr. Peck, but I believe that God has blessed us more through your vocation as an actor!”
How does one weigh up the worth of the different paths to walk? How does one know which vocation to embrace amidst the various options that might beckon? Frederick Buechner helpfully addresses this question when he says:
“There are all different kinds of voices calling to you, all different kinds of work and the problem is finding out which is the voice of God, rather than that of society, say, or the super-ego or self-interest. By and large, a good rule for finding out is this: The kind of work God usually calls you to, is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do, and (b) that the world most needs to be done.”
“If you really get a kick out of your work, you’ve presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you have missed requirement (b). [Buechner’s example suggests that he does not think deodorant serves a significant purpose!] On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leprosy colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you are bored and depressed by it, the chances are you’ve not only bypassed (a) but you probably aren’t helping your patients much either.”
“Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do.” Frederick Buechner concludes, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
What do you see yourself doing vocationally when you contemplate ‘your deep gladness’?
Reflect on the place where ‘your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet’.
Selecting a Souvenir
creator, carpenter, community builder, crucified Christ, commissioning Lord.
Throughout the shifts and stages of our life,
give us the sensitivity to hear your voice,
the freedom to let go of the old and
the courage to embrace the new.
Lead us to discover at this point on our journey,
what is our deep gladness and
the place where we can best serve the needs of our world.
Lord our God,
You call us to follow Jesus so let us follow Him today,
in obedience, joy, courage, truth and love.
Copyright © 2007 Geoff Pound Making Life Decisions
 I heard the activities of Holy Spirit likened to a hurricane, a gale and a zephyr in a conference address by the Rev Wynford Davies, Auckland, New Zealand, circa 1971.
 Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), 95.