I didn’t do a very good job last Sunday. I’m sorry. Ironically, the service was primarily about vocational call, so I spent a good bit of my opening proclaiming how pleased I am with my call and, by implication, how well-suited I am to it. Then, as someone was speaking, I realized I was utterly unprepared to respond.
In my panicked babbling, I idealized a sense of calling. I implied that a sense of call was better and we should pity the poor person who does not have it. I implied that those with a sense of call are happier and more suited to their place in the world than those who are not. I implied that finding one’s calling is, in some sense, a matter of properly preparing oneself for the epiphany, of truly examining oneself, which implies that those without a sense of call are not bothering to be introspective and serious. It’s exactly the kind of thing I was trying to work against: the idea that God has a plan for each of our lives and our task is to discover it. The problem, of course, is that those who don’t have that “Aha!” moment might conclude that they are doing something wrong or that God forgot to make a plan for them. That is not what I wanted to say or suggest, so I apologize for saying and suggesting just that.
Fortunately, God has a sense of humor. Or at least the planners of the lectionary do. This week is also about calling, so I get another shot at it. I will reflect further, but my initial impression is that this is the more challenging story of calling. Last week, things went pretty well for those who were called, so maybe it was easier for me to wax poetic about the beauty of it all. This week, not so much. We’ll look at the story of Jonah’s calling, which goes really well. We’ll visit the struggling and often confused church at Corinth. And we’ll see the disciples uproot themselves from a perfectly decent vocation in the fishing industry to follow some homeless loon around the countryside.
Watch me try to do better this Sunday, 11am at Church in the Cliff.
Grace & Peace,