“God works through different [people] in different ways.” 1Co 12:6 PHPS
Skilled potters recognize that when they press clay it presses back, giving them an indication of what it can and cannot become. Amateur potters often lack that discernment—and the end work proves it. When you don’t honor your raw material, reality becomes your enemy. The word vocation comes from the Latin word for “voice.” Discovering your calling involves listening very carefully. If you close your ears and pursue something you’re neither called nor equipped to do, you’ll end up living with anxiety that whispers, “You’re trying to do something God didn’t tell you to do.” The courage to acknowledge what you’re not brings great freedom; the lack of it imprisons you. Parker Palmer writes, “You cannot choose your calling; you must let your life speak.” Perhaps you were created to learn, and in so doing to benefit others. If you are, you’ll find yourself drawn to reading, reflecting, writing, and teaching. However, if you’re convinced (or allow others to convince you) that you must be a corporate success in order for your life to count, you’ll always be sawing against the grain of your life. Instead, learn to ride the horse in the direction it’s going. Philosopher Mortimer Adler writes about brilliant minds called to sit at the table of what he terms “the great conversation of the human race.” Well, guess what? Ninety-nine percent of us will never sit at that table! But we can look forward to the commendation: “Well done…good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21), that God promised to those who hear His call, accept it, and devote their lives to fulfilling it.