Countdown to Vocations Sunday - 4
Vocation, Vocation, Vocation
God’s call is often surprising, and we wonder how on earth we will be able to respond. One of our Readers tells the story of her call to be a school teacher and a Reader:
So there I was, sitting in the choir stalls watching our new vicar preach his first sermon, when in my head I heard – as clear as a bell – the words: ‘you’re going to be doing that’. WHAT????? Where did that come from? I was then a Deputy Head at a brilliant new school and thoroughly enjoyed every minute; in fact God had played a major role in getting me into teaching in the first place (why else did that Headmaster, desperately seeking a mathematician, get put through to my tutor, who thought of me from all his 50+ students?)… so surely God wasn’t wanting me to give it all up? Actually no, He wasn’t. I did consider the possibility of ordination but it left me cold; there was no excitement at the thought, no burning desire, no inner calling whatsoever. All was made clear three months later when the vicar asked if I would consider becoming a Reader – immediately I said ‘yes’, immediately I felt that leap of the heart, immediately everything fell into place and I knew beyond a doubt that this was what God wanted for me.
Twenty five years on and I’m still just as comfortable in this role and just as certain of my calling. Not that there weren’t a few hiccoughs along the way – rural churches were still struggling with female ministry and it took a couple of years before everyone felt comfortable with me leading the service and preaching; and then there was the small matter of losing my job because of the Reader training! My contract prohibited me taking on any extra work/duties without my Head’s permission and, whilst he applauded my decision to go into Lay Ministry, he didn’t think it would benefit the school… my post was advertised three days later! But God’s grace, coupled with the conviction that Readership was right, saw me through and I only had two weeks without work before being asked to ‘cover’ for a seriously ill Head of Maths. At the end of the training I returned to senior school management and later spent 12 years as a Headmistress. How blessed am I?
The Diocese has a team of Vocation’s Advisors, people who will work with you one to one to explore what God is calling you to be and do. Taking time out, with the support of someone experienced in discerning vocation, to reflect on calling can be a life changing experience. If you think God is calling you to something new and would like to explore that with a Vocation’s Advisor, please contact Angela Bruno.
Loving and liberating God,
Thank you for the gifts you have given me,
For all of the blessings I have received,
And for all the ways in which I am able to bring glory to you.
Help me to use those gifts in your name.
To bring your light and life
To the people around me,
So that they too may discover
All that you have given them
In your eternal love and kindness.