This session has really helped me to reflect on my faith, it's importance in my everyday life, and my place in God's creation. A great place to start and from which to learn and grow. I'm sure I'm not the only one who had doubts as to whether they were worthy to take this course. I found encouragement In chapter 1 of 'This is Our Calling' on page 4 by 'If God has the power and love enough to call us into being, he has given us power and love enough to fulfill his calling.' and then on page 10 by a line from the quote from Sister Catherine, 'There can be feelings of inadequacy for the task which leads plenty of room for God's grace to be at work in us.' I hope others will find encouragement in these quotes too.
There have been several times when I thought God was trying to tell me something, whether it was a giant Alpha course poster, or a feeling of awe standing on a deserted scottish beach. The Alpha course (2003) was a turning point for me. It brought back into regular church, and I started attending a home group on a regular basis. I taught Sunday School, and led intercessions, but I don't think I ever thought of my faith, or the way I lived my daily life, as a vocation? Like most people I probably would have said that vocations were job related...it's more about the job itself, rather than the essence of who you are and the purpose God has set out for you. I consider my role as a school administrator a vocation. I work longer than I should and I love my work. However, in essence I know am fulfilled by serving others - that's just who I am. Now I see that this is what vocation is about. We are called to love and serve others (and creation). It requires self-sacrifice - God's will, not mine - but when lived out, it can lead to fulfillment. Sometimes it will be joyous, and sometimes it will be difficult, and sometime the focus will change depending on the needs of those around us. I have often been guilty of taking on too many commitments, meaning that I struggled to meet the needs of my family. I am fortunate that God has 'clipped my wings' on a couple of occassions and brought me back to earth.
I am reassured that God calls us to be, who we are, where we are and what we are, using the gifts that we have been blessed with. Nothing more, nothing less. Our vocation relates to every relationship we have, e.g. mother, daughter, friend. We are also part of creation as a whole. I wonder if we are just called to be the best part of creation we can possibly be?
If everyone was to fulfill God's purpose for them, and live out their vocation in their everyday lives, the world would be a better place. However, we know that is not the case. We have not been very good caretakers of creation, we have upset the balance. To use first aid principals as an analogy, we are now called, to preserve creation, prevent any further damage, and promote healing (restoration). As individuals we may not be able to solve all of the problems, but we can be part of the solution and do whatever we can.
I am hoping this time God will not need to 'clip my wings'. I have started this course with an open and enquring mind, ready to listen and learn.
Amanda - I love the feeling of anticipation, maybe even excitement, that comes through this.