Vocation is about: (1) Who I am, (2)What I do, (3)How I live, and (4) Whose I am
To help guide our thinking about vocation at Marquette, we use a quote from Frederick Buechner’s book Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC’s: The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
According to Buechner, "Vocation comes from the Latin vocare (to call) and means the work a person is called to by God. There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of society, say, or the superego, or self-interest. The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need to do and (b) that the world needs to have done. If you find your work rewarding, you have presumably met requirement (a), but if your work does not benefit others, the chances are you have missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work does benefit others, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you are unhappy with it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your customers much either. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet."
Regardless of each person’s background, beliefs, and/or religious tradition, we believe each person has gifts and talents that they were given to use to benefit the world. As Dorothy C. Bass says, “Wrestling with questions about how to live your life is part of being human. Where are you heading, and why, and with whom?” Put another way…who am I becoming? What matters to me? How will I spend my time? What will I do with my college degree? What kind of impact will I make on the world? Why am I here?
It takes a lifetime to explore these big questions. Discovering the answers to these big questions unfolds through an ongoing journey of discernment. Ask more questions. Pay attention to your life and what it is telling you. Engage your relationship with God. Live in community and communion with others. You wait and live patiently into your own answers.
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
- Frederick Buechner