“I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying—even dying young.” – Saint Joan of Arc
The sermon at mass this week was about living with a sense of urgency for God’s mission. Well, what does that mean? How can I be urgent about something when I don’t even know what it is I’m being urgent about?
Our priest told a parable about a widowed mother who had three sons. One lived with her while the others lived farther away. One day, there was a huge fire at the house. The first son, who lived in the house, immediately got his mother to safety and told her to call his brothers so they could come help him. The second son was at work about an hour away, but once he received the call, he came immediately. The third son was hiking in the mountains so it took him 2-3 hours to get to the house, but he too came immediately when he received the call.
The first son had been there the whole time tending to the house. Did the mother chastise her other two sons because they did less work than the first son? No, of course not. While all of her sons learned of the fire at different times, what’s important is they all showed up and she was grateful!
Our priest’s final message was for everyone to act with a sense of urgency or else you will rob yourself of the joys God has laid out for you.
So, what are you being called to do with your life? Whether it’s regarding volunteering at church or turning a hobby into a career, is there something in the back of your mind that’s nagging you to start? Maybe you want to open a bakery, but you’re rejecting every opportunity to make cupcakes.
When I started college, I was a business major mostly because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. To be honest, I wasn’t really good at my business courses. You know what I was good at though? English class. Not only was I good at it, I also enjoyed it. So, when it came time for my last English course before I dedicated all of my time to business, I realized I had a choice to make. There were many signs I was actively ignoring because I was only following the path I thought I should be taking. But this time I decided to finally listen to what I actually wanted. That week, I rushed to make an appointment with one of the English advisors so I could switch my major. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself.
Okay, but what if the ringer on your phone is on high, but literally, there is no one calling. Sometimes it’s hard to know what direction you’re supposed to take when there are so many options. I have countless stories just like this where I tried ignoring signs that pointed me in the direction of joy. What can I say? I don’t like change.
My advice for figuring out your mission? Listen, be open to it all, and follow the good. And when you finally get that call, make sure you show up.