Signs of a Vocation
In choosing any way of life, there are some questions to ask:
1. Do I have a DESIRE for it? Some people choose a way of life because they feel an obligation. They feel an obligation to marry or enter seminary or Religious Life. God gives us the desire.
A vocation is not meant to mean “Bite the Bullet” until you get to heaven. Any way of life will have its undesirable moments, but they should not be the basic movement of your affectivity. You should not feel, “I am only doing this because God wants me to.”
2. Do I have some ABILITY to accomplish the responsibilities of that state in life? You don’t have to be tops in your field or even perfect. If you are constantly under pressure and cannot meet the ordinary demands of that way of life, try another lifestyle and see if that indicates a positive response.
3. Do I see signs of personal GROWTH? If you are stagnant and in a rut, centered only on your own needs, then it could be time for renewal or a new direction in your life. This is not to be confused with getting out of a commitment when things become ordinary or routine. Regular ordinary days can tell us something about ourselves as well as crisis times. Growth means finding deeper commitment in your life’s choice and becoming more and more a reflection of your true self. Integrating personal needs and the responsibilities of your state in life is a sign of growth.
4. Do I experience a CALL from God? This is the inner drawing that you know you haven’t given to yourself.
5. Do I recognize the EVENTS of my life as fitting a pattern and pointing to a certain life’s choice? Do circumstances keep putting me in a certain direction?
6. Do I have PEACE, although tension may exist around me?
7. Do I have STRUGGLES and DOUBTS? Anyone who is afraid to question might be seeking security, rather than a life’s choice that has uncertainties. Any way of life has unknown events, both good and bad. If you experience doubts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are in the wrong lifestyle. Rather it could mean you fully understand the depth of commitment that life demands. Someone who buries his/her head in the sand will never know doubt, but will never know reality either.
8. Do I have some FEAR? When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she expressed surprise and confusion. The angel said to Mary: “Be not afraid.” Letting God take over our life can be frightening. When we are in control, we don’t fear as much. We think we can do it all (or so we think!).
9. Do I have the feeling that it FITS? After all is said and done, many times we know something is right for us and we don’t have all the words to say it. That’s fine.
Any vocation in life needs certain basic human qualities, such as:
Note: These are only a few of the valuable characteristics that we should strive for, regardless of which lifestyle we choose. No particular life’s choice automatically makes us holy or whole persons.