Do you remember the mother's day cards you used to make your mum when you were eight years old? You know the ones: disproportional stick figures and wild, scribbly letters that barely resemble the words "I love you mum". My mother did my ego a great dis-service by feeding the delusion that I had created a masterpiece.
Gift giving is not my strong suit. While my drawing and writing skills have developed to be much more legible, it's my imagination that lacks: what gift should I buy this person that they will actually appreciate? Maybe I just have had the misfortune of having friends that are as equally unimaginative as myself when if comes to buying gifts, but I've noticed most people buy gifts that they would want.We all know that feeling of receiving something we didn't quite want, whether it was underwear on your birthday or that Christmas present that you could just tell your Secret Santa wanted to buy for themselves.
I know this mentality often stretches into my faith journey: If I do this, God will be happy... At which point I need to remind myself that God is the creator of the universe, he's seen it all. I could blow fireworks out of my ear and God would remain unfazed. God would be happy with this gift............really???
Let me relate this back to vocation for a minute. When I went to the seminary there was a part of me that thought God would be happy with me if I became a priest. No doubt he would have been happy if I became a priest but that's not what vocation is about. I am not God's gift to God - that doesn't even make sense! My vocation is God's gift to me. It's a gift to help me grow closer to God and to help other people grow closer to God.
Can you imagine if God just dumped us here and left us to our own devices? Instead, God invites us to journey with him and the rest of creation through our vocation. Our vocation isn't a gift to God, it's God's gift to us. I don't know about you but that rocks my brain! Whether your calling is to ordained ministry, religious life, marriage or single life: it is a gift from God to you to help you achieve your mission. And what is that mission: "Go and make disciples of all nations!" Jesus said that BTW. It's seems like a huge task, but God makes it easy.