Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hearing Voices

In the year that King Uzziah died, or in the year that John F. Kennedy died, or in the year that somebody you loved died, you go into the temple if that is your taste, or you hide your face in the little padded temple of your hands, and a voice says, "Whom shall I send into the pain of a world where people die?" and if you are not careful, you may find yourself answering, "Send me." You may hear the voice say, "Go." Just go. 

Like "duty," "law," "religion," the word "vocation" has a dull ring to it, but in terms of what it means, it is really not dull at all. "Vocare," to call, of course, and a man's vocation is a man's calling. It is the work that he is called to in this world, the thing he is summoned to spend his life doing. We can speak of a man's choosing his vocation, but perhaps it is at least as accurate to speak of a vocation's choosing the man, of a call's being given and a man's hearing it, or not hearing it. 

And maybe that is the place to start: the business of listening and hearing. A man's life is full of all sorts of voices calling him in all sorts of directions. Some of them are voices from inside and some of them are voices from outside. The more alive and alert we are, the more clamorous our lives are. Which do we listen to? What kind of voice do we listen for? - Frederick Buechner

One night long ago a sixteen year old boy sat alone on the back step of our home, gazing up into a clear, sparkling, night sky. In a strange, whispering, wonderful moment Someone called to me, my calling came to me as I listened, struck silent by the enormity of God and my own littleness. I heard it, and something stirred in me that had never moved before, something deep, something real, something alive, something struggling to speak, to take flight in me. I had no words, no answer.

My life from that moment has been my own harrowing and halting effort to answer that Voice, to fulfill my vocare, my calling. 

4 comments:

Robert McGee said...

Thank you for posting this quote. I think it helps to remind ourselves that this is not just a job or a way to make a living. We must strive to listen for God's voice and follow His calling.

Drew Hill said...

Good thoughts, Robert. I guess we have all had those moments, hopefully rarely, when ministry felt like just a job. It helps me to remember where I began.

Annie said...

I am learning to listen to His calling of letting go and letting Him do his magic in my life. Matter of fact that is one of my resolutions, not just for the year but for life. Glad you have been found and am passing on His Good News. I always enjoy visiting here.

Drew Hill said...

Can't imagine a better resolution, Annie. Thanks for sharing. You are always a blessing.