Veterinarian. Detective. Hairdresser. International assassin. These have all, at one point or another, been my answers to the question, “What do you want to do after you’re done school?” But even after being in school for over 24 consecutive years, I still don’t have a definitive answer. Discerning a career has occupied much of my brain space, but I had never given the same thought to discerning my spiritual vocation (or calling) until I did Rhythms for Life.
Despite trying to escape my charismatic Christian upbringing, God, in his divine sense of humour, still sometimes speaks to me through vivid images. As I worked through Rhythms, I was given an image for my vocation. Two hands — my hands — cupped, with water ever-flowing from above, filling my hands, and spilling down to unseen depths through cracks between my fingers. From this, I understood that I am to hold what I receive from Christ, his living water, loosely, ready to give for Christ.
This image has taught me that a key part of my vocation is to receive. If I do not receive the living water fromChrist, whether by starting the day in prayer, making time for spiritual friendships, or soaking up God’s love in church on Sundays, my hands will soon run dry. My vocation has helped me understand why these “routine” practices mattersignificantly for my connection to God and to others. If I do not receive, I am giving from my own strength, which only leads to burnout and bitterness towards others.
Conversely, generosity doesn’t work if I don’t give, or if I do so conditionally. In my vocational image, the living water flowed out of my hands freely. If I were to hold my fingers together to conserve that water, there would still be enough of God to exceed the brim of my grasp, but then I am not joining in his work in others’ lives — I am not living out my vocation. If I were to try to direct that living water to only reach some people — those I like, who are like me, who aren’t too needy — then I am misusing what Christ has freely given me by being stingy, the very opposite of generous.
Rhythms didn’t solve my career conundrum, but it has given me a new understanding of what my life, lived before God, is all about. If you, like I was, are feeling a bit directionless, a bit vocation-less, I would encourage you to take the time to work through Rhythms for Life.
We are thankful for Amelia’s story. If you want to learn more about crafting a Rhythm for Life, visit stpf.ca/rhythms