Sunday, June 12, 2011

vocational discernment: the journey continues

Last semester, I had the opportunity to take a course called Peacemaking Seminar as a directed study. One of the objectives of the course was vocational discernment, particularly around my call and identity as a peacebuilder. Not only did I get to spend the semester deeply engaged in questions of discernment and identity, I got to do so alongside one of my professors whose life has been an example for me of what it means to live peace. I was required to keep a journal for the semester, part of which included weekly vocational reflections (my journal from Peacemaking Seminar can be found here). This little journaling project taught me two important lessons about vocational discernment (and about life, but I will stick with the topic at hand):

1. Intentionality is everything.
To look back on my vocational reflections from spring semester is to look back on a collection of experiences of which I could have easily missed the significance. For me, the requirement to reflect weekly on identity and vocation was an invitation to live life ever open to God’s leading. Last semester was an incredible time of discernment precisely because it was an intentional time of discernment.

2. Significance lies in the small things.
Reflecting every week on vocational discernment forced me to find the significance in everyday experiences. Some weeks, there were obvious times of discernment, such as my spring break spent visiting seminaries. However, some weeks were filled with classes and not much else. Such is the life of a college student, but I learned to find significance in the small things. I reflected on lectures, on readings from various classes, and from conversations with friends and professors. Looking back, those experiences are the ones that add texture to the broad strokes of discernment that paint the picture of my life.

Moving forward, I am no longer required to reflect on identity, vocation, or anything else for that matter! However, Peacemaking Seminar was never about a grade or an assignment; it was about who I am and who I am becoming. That work is not over, nor will it ever be. I hope to use this blog to continue the journey of discernment, a journey I believe cannot be walked alone. I hope you will join me!

peace dove window

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