Monday, September 29, 2008

Working with Passion: Major and Minor Calls

One thing I always knew I had to do, and that is to write. The urge to write stories, letters, articles, novels, poems, lists, etc. is omni-present. For me, that was my first big call in life. It came when I was about eight years old and received my first diary.

My second big call was to motherhood, and from then on all I did had to stem from that. For all mothers, their primary ministry must be the care of their young, until they leave the nest. There may be other major and minor calls, but they cannot conflict with this most urgent one.

Some minor calls included homeschooling for several years, and teaching religious education. Anything I took up outside the home had to have some benefit for the children in order to justify the time and energy taken from them. All that I did, I threw myself into with passion, as I did when employed for pay, in my former life (before kids).

[I do not wish to say a woman cannot work for some other cause while being a mother. I was in such awe when I read the story of “Madame Curie”, by Eve Curie, translated by Vincent Sheean. This is a story of a woman who threw her whole life into the work that included the discovery of radium and the primary research in atomic fission, as well as the real-life application of these with X-ray machines and radiological treatments. You could see how her daughter worshipped her for her great accomplishments; and yet she let the reader into the sadness that was their life. Marie Curie often failed to eat, sleep, and otherwise care for herself. She was often absent to her family, and had very little spiritual life. She lost her life to disease from the exposure to elements she studied, those same elements that would ultimately save countless numbers of human lives. I wish for her and her family’s sake that she could have found some sense of balance in her life. Perhaps she could have lived for another decade if she had taken the proper time to sustain herself physically and emotionally.]

When I think back on some of the other things I spent my time on, I must confess I may have been tempted to follow false callings. The biggest example I can think of was a homeschooling field trip group I started with a friend. It was her idea, and I persuaded myself that it would be a worthy cause to take up.

When I look back, I think my time could have been better spent on my writing. I had no time to do any actual creative writing during that time. Someone else could have done what I did – my special talents were not required here. I am not sorry for the work I did, but I did learn an important lesson on keeping my priorities straight, and not affirmatively answering every call that came my way.

After the birth of my youngest child, I began to form new friendships here and there. I also caught up with a few friends that I had fallen out of touch with. Within a few months, I realized there was a connection among these friends from seemingly different arenas: they were all active in pro-life ministry!

I could not believe I had not noticed it before. God had led me to these special people for a reason, and I caught onto the passion they had for their pro-life work. Then I read my old homeschooling friend Leticia Velasquez’s blogs and realized I could take my two big calls and put them together, writing about motherhood for other mothers, while also serving the pro-life cause!

Writing about motherhood is something that comes so naturally to me that it requires little effort. In fact, the more I do it the more free I feel. I feel uplifted and energized. As I seek to impart insight, I gain more into my own soul and the mysteries of God’s creation.

I wonder: If I had listened for the call, could I have figured this out a few years ago and used my gift to better advantage? If someone has never heard a calling, how do they go about finding it? I will this explore this topic further in my upcoming posts, with the highlights of some intriguing Biblical calls.

Picture: “God Calls Samuel”, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1851-60.


Leticia said...

This is an excellent post on blending our calls in our lives. It seems that you are truly staining to hear that "still small voice" amidst the conflicting advice give to women in our times.
The Lord must be very pleased, and will bless your work accordingly. He just loves it when we say "yes".

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

You must have read my mind - my next post was going to be about the "still small voice" mentioned in I Kings 19!

Loren Christie said...

I think we have a whole lot in common, Elizabeth. I can really relate.