Deadlines looming. Pressures of work and study. Personal pleasures and family obligations. Social commitments and expectations. The pursuit of dreams and hopes. Just getting by one day at a time…The list goes on and on. How do we juggle all this? In the eyes of the world, we’re expected to live our lives “to the full,” which often includes having a multitude of engagements, social-network-friends, a job or two, etc. etc. etc.
This reality affects us all, the reality of “busy-ness.” Our planners and lives are filled to the brim with responsibilities and activities, either self-inflicted or otherwise. And then, we remind ourselves: Oh, yes, there’s one more aspect to add to the list above: finding my vocation. My life is overwhelming and confusing as it is; so how will that fit into the picture?!?
Not to worry – God never asks the impossible of us! But, we will need to take a step back and pause, something that our world tends to discourage. Ever wonder why? When we give ourselves the chance to rest from busy-ness, and block out the “noise” of the world, then (lo and behold!) suddenly we have a better chance to listen to God, who speaks to us within our own hearts, and in the persons, places, and happenings around us. Many people actually see this “busy-ness” as a trick of the devil, who seems to distract and overstimulate us with things of the world, with the precise purpose of tuning God’s voice out of our hearts.
It is never too late to give God the chance, even if we feel we have succumbed to the whirlpool of worldliness and busy-ness. If we are sincerely concerned about fitting our vocation search more into the daily “juggle,” then a good way to begin is by simply setting some time apart for quiet reflection. This time is crucial for discernment, as it distances us from the distractions of the world, while also giving God the chance to speak to us. If we take this time seriously, then we may be surprised at how he responds to our questions. He’s always trying to get our attention, but unfortunately we usually don’t recognize him, nor even give him the chance.
Our Blessed Mother was a model of quiet conversation with God. We can imagine she was at prayer when the Angel Gabriel asked for her “yes” to God’s will. And because she was so attuned to the will of God, she readily and freely said “Fiat,” Let it be done!” Let us turn to her in our vocation search, and ask her to help us hear God’s voice.