We tend to think of a vocation as something only a priest or member of a religious order has. The rest of us—those who end up remaining single or getting married—are just single or married people.
But we all have a vocation—a unique call from God through which we grow in our relationship with him and our service to others. We each have a mission, and through our vocation, we help to transform the world.
When you think about marriage as a vocation, as opposed to simply finding and committing yourself to your soul mate, it feels a little different. I don’t want to take the romance out of your marital situation, but I do want to remind you that there is a lot more to your marriage than falling in love and making a vow to stay together for the rest of your lives.
Whether you are single, widowed, married, or in the religious life, you have a vocation. One of the nice things about embracing the concept of vocation is how compelling that reality can be on those days when you just aren’t feeling it. It’s possible you will have a few days here and there, or possibly a few weeks or even months when marriage and family life feel like a challenge or when being single feels like a cross to bear—when your state in life doesn’t feel like where you want to be, not exactly.
This is when the idea of vocation is very helpful.
When we embrace our vocation, we can move through the day confident that we are moving within God’s plan for us. We experience peace and joy, trusting that we’re not simply slogging through our activities, but are participating in something bigger than ourselves.
It makes the humdrum of everyday life seem pretty grand indeed! . . .
Each one of us has a vocation. We establish what it is and what the vocation requires depending on our season of life. The mother of young children will require different levels of energy and different needs within the home than the mother of teens. Both require time and energy and attention and love—but in different ways.
Similarly, singles and priests and nuns and empty nesters and widowers will each have their own unique set of life circumstances and commitments.
Ultimately, our focus should not be on whose life is easier or whose life is holier. It’s about being aware of our vocation, our primary commitments, and going from there. It’s also about establishing boundaries. . . .
Practically speaking, when you understand what your vocation is, you have a good starting point for determining what really matters. And if you know what really matters, you’re on your way to avoiding overcommitment. If your vocation is to marriage and family life, then that will be your priority. That means anything else you’re asked to do will need to fit within the framework of your vocation—caring for your family and home life. . . .
Within your vocation, you are still you. This means that the way you go about your day will look unique for you. Whether single or married, you have a schedule and limits and capabilities that are not identical to every other single or married person you know. You get to figure it out.
Know yourself. Understand your vocation. Be okay with your limits. And don’t compare. . . .
Jesus is at the heart of our vocations. He uses our vocations to lead us to his Sacred Heart. As married people, singles, or those called to something other than the religious life, we have the same opportunities to find Christ in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our days.
We use the circumstances of our vocations—the places we go, the things we do, and the people we encounter—to draw us closer to Jesus. It isn’t just quiet time in prayer that leads us to him, although in all we do, we can invite Jesus to be with us. God wants to meet us where we are, and that means in the circumstances of our duties and vocation.
Excerpted from Overcommitted: Cut Chaos and Find Balance by Rachel Balducci. Visit bookstore.wau.org for more information.