Yeah, I’ve been gone from blogging for a long time. Since January 17th. That is my longest break from blogging since I went away on my honeymoon. There were several reasons why I was away: 1) I was very, very sick and pretty much bedridden and out of it for over a week; 2) This is my second to last quarter of my MFT program and it has been absolutely crazy; 3) I had nothing to say 4) Blogging seemed forced, rather than the usual ease it typically was.
But what seemed really evident to me was that the longer I went without blogging the more difficult it was for me. I’ve learned to realize that a lot of my identity comes from my blogging. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. My identity is shaped by other bloggers; by commenters; by affirmation, etc. Knowing this, it seemed really important that I actually not force blogging, but take the necessary time away from it.
And while I was away I have been reading and exploring the idea of identity and vocation more at length. One of my favorite books on this topic is Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer. I first read the book in 2002 when I was finishing up my M. Div. at Fuller at it greatly impacted me and some of my friends. I have since read it over a couple of times and I’m about to finish it again. It is very powerful.
What I want to do over the next month or so is interact with this book and explore some of his ideas regarding vocation (and I will back to my “normal” blogging as well). Why? Because vocation is such an important aspect of our lives, and most of us wrestle at length with what our “vocation” should be….or what our “calling” truly is. For many people this seems like a very easy choice. But as I explore more of this topic and the interweavings and connection between identity and vocation, I have come to belive that many of us find ourselves in places that aren’t where we truly want to be, or what we want to do.
Parker Palmer makes the insightful comment that:
“True self (this is what Parker also refers to as the “imago dei” in us), when violated, will always resist us, sometimes at great cost, holding our lives in check until we honor its truth.” (pp. 4)
As we find ourselves in very different places in life (graduating from college, looking for jobs, looking for second careers, stuck in a career, etc.) we may find that our identity is being violated. Palmer says:
“The deepest vocational question is not ‘What ought I to do with my life?’ It is the more elemental and demanding ‘Who am I? What is my nature?'”
This is something I have been thinking about and hope to explore with you.
Question: How do we know when we are in the right vocation? When do we know we have found our calling?