Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Send me! Pleeeeaaase send me! Now! (On Life Callings)

I'm the first to call out, "Here am I, Lord, send me!" But it's usually while getting sprayed in the face with pee during a half-awake diaper change, or hearing, "NO!" followed by toddler shrieking for the hundredth time a day. And somedays, I wouldn't mind the Lord sending me just about anywhere, as long as it's anywhere else.

My wiggly, fussy toddler decided to be snuggly and quiet during the homily on Sunday, so I guess I really needed to hear it. Deacon Duffin brought up the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, called to be a missionary, even from before he was born, and St. Paul, called to be an apostle, even though he had spent a good portion of his adult life trying to kill the new Jesus cult. And then Deacon Duffin asked about the callings in our own lives.

For me, responding to Jesus' call is more like getting myself out of bed to make breakfast for my hungry, adorable goblin children, than checking airline prices to the Saharan mission field.

Some days are more exciting than others.
In the wake of Pope Benedict XVI's abdication, I've wondered if he misheard God's voice. Surely God would want him to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, unafraid to fill the public spotlight with an image that even to the end, even in suffering, life is beautiful, a voice to counter the message that if we're old or less capable, our lives lessen in value.

I heard speculation that his proud Germanic heritage wouldn't allow him to showcase the intimate face of suffering and the inevitable trials of old age. But then I read The Anchoress' thoughts, and realized that our beloved pope is following the same path as the one before him: offering his life for the world, on the public stage, as it's been for the last eight years, or behind closed doors, as it will be now.

How beautiful, as Pope Benedict himself once expressed to a journalist, there are as many ways to God as there are people. The international mission field isn't God's be-all/end-all highest calling for every person. And as Pope Benedict chooses a life of prayer over his public missionary life as the Servant of the servants of God (favorite papal title), he demonstrates even the papacy isn't the be-all/end-all greatest calling for holy Catholics.

Whether ”cloistered” in a home with needy kids, ”cloistered” in an office with needy co-workers, ”cloistered” at a university with needy professors, or cloistered in a monastery for the sake of a needy Church, we listen for our God callings, to be who and what and where we're called to be, to spend our lives meeting the needs around us.

”Here am I, Lord. Send me.”

No comments:

Post a Comment