From Passion to Action

Still unsure of your passion or calling?

      Some of us will have considered last week’s questions and still not have an answer for what our calling is. Elizabeth O’Connor in her book, “Cry Pain, Cry Hope,” writes, “Many times a person, unsure what her call in life is, will go from one mission to another. She gives each the gift of her energies for a time, but then she has to try others in an effort to discover the one that connects with something deep in herself and which can become for her, true vocation.”

     Some things to consider:

  • You may already follow your call. Parenting, or caring for the elderly, or heading a huge project may be exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Do you already feel fulfilled by meaningful work or through creativity?
  • Your calling may change over time. Young parenthood years may draw you a different direction than your empty nest stage or your retirement.
  • Fear may be clouding your view of the path ahead.

      O’Connor quotes H.A.Williams in True Wilderness, “Fear, in the New Testament, is considered to be the root of all evil. It is fear which makes men selfish, it is fear which makes them hate, it is fear which makes them blind, it is fear which makes them mad. Fear casts out love, as love casts out fear. Which of the two therefore am I going to choose?”

     Over and over again in the Bible God exhorts us not to fear. See if you notice a common trend in these excerpts:

  • “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’”  Isaiah 41:13
  • “O Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the LORD, “For I am with you.” Jeremiah 46:28  
  • “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” Psalm 27:1
  • “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7

     Each verse takes our focus away from our fear and places it where it should be, on God. He says, “I will help you; I am with you; I am your light and salvation; My peace will guard.”

     We are working this Lent to overcome our fears and replace them with confidence. Not so we can be superstars at work. Not so we make more money or impress people. Rather, because when we are confident we refuse to let fear stop us. We are able to …

 Take action.

     Once you discover a gift, calling, or passion, take action! Commit to struggle, work, and perseverance. O’Connor forewarns us, “The identifying of gifts brings to the fore another large issue in our lives—the issue of commitment. Somehow if I name my gift and it is confirmed, I cannot “hang loose” in the same way. I would much rather be committed to God in the abstract than be committed to Him at the point of my gifts.  When one really becomes practical about gifts, they spell out responsibility and sacrifice.”

     Yes, responsibility and sacrifice are frightening, so we must take our fears to God in prayer. Acknowledge what the risks of this path are. What obstacles must be overcome? What must be sacrificed? Ponder and mull and brood about this calling, but take some sort of action. Seek out people who will support you as you undertake your work. Find someone who helps protect you from succumbing to the criticisms of others, or their jealousy, or your fear.

     Whatever inspiration you discover, take it to a higher level by taking it to God. Begin whatever passion calls you to do, whether taking a class or reaching out to others. If it is a work of art, either show beauty to others through your work, or point out areas that need attention to become beautiful. Let your creativity call others to change, to growth, to improving their little part of the world.

     I’ll leave you with a quote to mull over for the week:

     “The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work that you need most to do and that the world most needs to have done…The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”– Frederick Buechner’s definition of “vocation” in his little book “Wishful Thinking 

 Prayers for you during this fifth week of Lent!

Betty Arrigotti


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