I think when I hear about people who “find their calling” or “receive a calling” or, really, anything involving a calling, I always imagine a voice ringing out in their minds.
I’ve always suspected that “those people” who have these callings are blessed with an amazing moment of clarity in which God’s plan is just– BOOM!– revealed to them.
I love imagining that. I envision lightning cracking across the sky, a voice ringing out in the darkness, sudden illumination in a life previously dark. Dramatic? You betcha. And that’s how I liked to think about it.
So, when I heard the plea for additional catechists and assistants in the summer of 2011, I listened and processed it. I wondered. I vacillated. I made mental pro and con lists. I even mentioned it, vaguely, to family.
I prayed on it. I asked God for a sign if it was something He wanted me to do.
And I got nothin’.
So… I did nothing.
In the Spring of this year, I walked in to register my older two children for our church’s Faith Formation program. I had my paperwork and checkbook (yes, we pay a nominal fee for it, unless there is financial hardship) in hand.
As I made my way to the line, I thought about the summer before when I had almost become a catechist. I thought about how I’d asked God for a sign that this was a calling for me… and I hadn’t gotten it.
And then it hit me:
God called me when He put it in my heart.
I walked up to the table and offered my name as a teacher for this school year.
I teach first graders now, every other Tuesday– all boys, save for two little girls. They add great joy to my life. They also challenge me in amazing ways.
I’ve learned that a calling doesn’t need to be some dramatic, flashy thing… there may not be a clear voice or bright lights involved.
Sometimes, answering a calling is really just responding to a nudge.
I’m so glad I finally got that. Thanks, God, for being so patient with me about it.