The rains of Tenerife fade from the mind – replaced by the incredible beauty of Oban yesterday where I was pursuing my calling as the apostle of Canon 4. I sat with my back to one of the most incredible views in Europe as we interviewed potential candidates in the Episcopal Election for Argyll and the Isles. On such a day – with the ferries going in and out – who would not want to live and work there.
As always on such occasions, the mind takes the occasional excursion. Vocation is strange stuff. I have been known to startle people by asking either, ‘Do you know what you would die for?’ or ‘Do you experience vocation as a physical sensation?’ And yet at other times, one wears it like old shoes.
One of my friends used to talk about ‘needing your hands pre-drilled’ to work in a certain town in Northern Ireland – which shall be nameless. Lest one might get too stigmata-ish about this, Alison and I are pursing our vocation tomorrow evening at Dinner in the Mansion House with the Lord Mayor of London.
What a wonderful, concise summary about vocation. It is so true that from day to day, and even moment to moment, we are called to move from comfort to courage and back again. Helpful thoughts indeed as I don’t believe we are called to inhabit either place all the time, yet we are called to go there as the Spirit moves.
David, your comments about Oabn had me reminiscing about my time there – I did supply at the cathedral for two summers. A beautiful place.
About vocation, I love Frederick Buechner’s definition – “Neither the hair shirt nor the soft birth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’
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