As Mepkin has been featured in an article in the New York Times recently and even more recently been contacted by a film company interested in doing a brief video on our life, a number of thoughts have been stirred up as to how people think about vocation or a call from God in contemporary times. Anthropology studies the behaviors, interactions and endeavors of human beings. Early in seminary studies, students are offered classes in theological anthropology because faith tells us we come from God and are returning to God and an approach to understanding the human person that doesn’t include God isn’t complete for a person of faith. So theological anthropology endeavors to appreciate the human being in relationship with the Creator and the saving work Jesus accomplishes in our behalf, mindful that the Holy Spirit is given to us to enable us and help us participate in continuing Jesus’ work in the world.
In that vein, each person is asked as they advance from their teen years into young adulthood and beyond: “What do you want to do?” Or “What do you want to be?” These are important and valid questions. The corresponding and equally important and valid question is: “What does God want me to do?” Or “To what is God inviting me to give my life?”
As I have asked those questions to groups of students preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation or the groups of teens and young adults coming to the monastery to pray, I am often told that no one asks those questions any more. And I wonder why. The relationship with God is not all giving on God’s part. And God does give generously when we take time to reflect on the truth of our lives. In what ways are we consciously making a return to God? Are we making the decision to give back?
The post-modern, post Christian world society crowds people with questions about what is satisfying or gratifying to them. It doesn’t seem folks find themselves being asked what is pleasing to God. Or how one might show gratitude for blessings and gifts given by God that goes behind a hurried “thank you.” Mutually loving relationships speak with actions of gratitude and appreciation for what is offered by the other. The contemporary person of faith gets tugged and pulled in many directions being told what they should give their time to. And somewhere in the midst one finds oneself asking how to make time for God when the schedule is getting more and more filled with activities and concerns that leave less and less time for deepening the relationship with God.
Each of us has a vocation to deepen our relationship with God who gives us life and breath, purpose and meaning. Pulling that ordering of our lives toward God is a challenge worth a little bit more of our thoughts and our time.
So perhaps a little time to think about what God is calling us to in our lives would be worth considering.