“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman, 1899-1981
Earlier in September, I had the opportunity to go to a CREDO conference in south Florida. This week-long conference is offered to pastors through the Board of Pensions, which is the healthcare and retirement plans for PC(USA) pastors and a few other denominations. It was a gift to have this week away to think deeply and reflect on many areas of my life, and how vocation is so much more than “what we do.” We are accustomed to think of vocation in terms of our job – what we do on a day-to-day basis. And that is a big part of it, for certain.
But vocation, from the Latin vocare, “to call,” encompasses more than what we would call our work. It is interwoven in every aspect of our life: our families, our spiritual life, our unpaid work, our leisure activities can all be part of our vocation. As Howard Thurman reminds us, it is “what makes you come alive” and feeds your spirit. When we consider the whole of our lives, where is it that we feel most deeply alive? How can we do more of that which makes us feel that way?
As we move into stewardship season in the church, where we are asked to consider the commitment we will make to the church for the coming year, I invite you to embrace this challenge to live into that which makes you come alive. Your financial gifts to the church are only one aspect of what is meant by stewardship. We are called to be good stewards of our time and talents as well, in service to the church and the community. If you have a passion you would like to share, offer an opportunity to the church to gather together and teach us about it. If there is a mission or service project you are involved in, let’s bring a group together to go and serve there. If you are excited about youth or children’s ministry, let’s talk about putting a team together.
Where is God calling you, through your gifts and passions, to deepen your own sense of vocation? I am grateful to be part of a caring, committed, and compassionate congregation, and I am excited about where God is leading us, together.