Monday, May 12, 2008

The Calling of Voices

My pastor, at hearing about certain issues in my life- loaned me a book which I am NEVER going to return.. (Well, I probably will- maybe...)
I found this so amazing and honest and down to earth that I had to share it: Maybe some of you are wondering the same things I'm wondering, like, 'What am I doing here? How did I get here? and, Is This It???. One never knows.

From 'Secrets In The Dark' by Frederick Beuchner

" There is also the moment in the gospels where Jesus is portrayed as going into the wilderness for forty days and being tempted by the devil. And one of the ways that the devil tempts him is to wait until he is very hungry from fasting and then to suggest that he simply turn the stones into bread and eat. Jesus answers, "Man shall not live by bread alone", and this just happens to be, among other things, true, and very close to the same truth that Charlie Gray (John Marquand's novel Point Of No Return) comes to when he realizes too late that he was not made to live on status and salary alone, but that something crucially important was missing from his life, even though he was not sure what it was any more than, perhaps, Marquand himself was sure what it was.
There is nothing moralist or sentimental about this truth. It means for us simply that we must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have on this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously. Everybody knows that. We need no one to tell it to us. Yet in another way perhaps we do always need to be told, because there is always the temptation that we have all the time in the world, whereas the truth of it is that we do not. We have only one life, and the choice of how we are going to live it must be our own choice, not one that we let the world make for us. Because surely Marquand was right that for each of us there comes a point of no return, a point beyond which we no longer have enough life left to go back and start all over again.
To Isaiah, the voice said,' Go' and for each of us there are many voices that say it, but the question is which one will we obey with our lives, which of the voices that call is to be the one we answer? No one can say, of course, except each for himself, but I believe that it is possible to say at least this in general to all of us: We should go with our lives where we most need to go and where we are most needed.
... Maybe that means that the voice we should listen to most as we choose a vocation is the voice that we might think we should listen to least, and that is the voice of our own gladness. What can we do that makes us gladdest, what can we do that leaves us with the strongest sense of sailing true north and of peace, which is much of what gladness is?...I believe that if it is a thing that makes us truly glad, then it is a good thing and it is our thing and it is the calling voice that we were made to answer with our lives.
....Jesus said,'Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,' and in the end every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is the same word, and the word is Christ himself. And in the end, that is the vocation, the calling of all of us, the calling to be Christ's. To be Christ's in whatever way we are able to be. To be Christ's with whatever gladness we have and in whatever place, among whatever brothers we are called to. That is the vocation, the destiny to which we were all of us called even before the foundations of the world." F. Beuchner- Secrets in The Dark

No comments: