A few weeks ago I brought up the topic of vocation, or calling. Right around that time, Frederick Buechner, whose work I had included in that email, passed away at the age of 96. His works have been significant for innumerable people, both directly and indirectly, seeking a faith with integrity in this modern and often confusing world.
I bring this up because, as I mentioned in my previous email, a quote by Buechner has both inspired and, at times, dismayed me. It comes from his work Wishful Thinking, and it says this:
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
For the longest time, while I liked this quote, it sounded a bit too much like something that would be said in the first world but not in the developing world. The world’s deepest need doesn’t really matter when my career options are limited by circumstance to something like building bricks. But then one day it occurred to me, that while certainly it is true that getting paid to “do what you love” isn’t really an option in much of the world, that doesn’t necessarily make the quote untrue.
No matter your economic situation, finding your calling is worth striving for. It is because this world is fallen that everyone can’t find their vocation where their deepest gladness and the world’s greatest hunger exist. Furthermore, there is a calling within this definition of calling. I believe God wants everyone to have a unique part in the healing of this broken world and even if everyone does not have this kind of opportunity at present, we can certainly use what power we are given open more pathways of vocation to those within our influence, until our Lord returns at the end of time.
So as I close, I’m grateful for Frederick Buechner and his significant calling as a writer and theologian, and I’m grateful for your ministry, whatever it might be. And may we be the kind of people that are also trying to give others the same kinds of opportunities as ourselves.
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