I wonder if you have ever had the situation where you are talking with someone or a group and you hear yourself say something that takes you quite by surprise. Perhaps you have been working through something in your head for a few days, and the person you are with asks a question that is related. The answer you give comes straight from the heart, rather than the head, and all of a sudden everything makes sense.
I had a situation like this a couple of weeks ago. I had been reflecting on what it meant to be called into ministry and to name this as my vocation. Many hours have been spent with my supervisor around this very question. All of this pondering was useful and had challenged me in a variety of ways to look from different angles at where I found myself today. I still felt, however, that I had missed the point.
During Lent, our congregation engaged in a study on the topic of Finding Your Voice, based on the film 'The King's Speech'. One of the sessions explored the idea of 'being called'. Someone asked me during this study, 'How did your call to ministry happen, Cathie?' Before I knew it, the words were out of my mouth, 'Well, I don't actually think my calling is to be a minister - this is just how I am living out my calling in the here and now.'
The truth had been spoken. The words were out and they have been going through my mind ever since. It was the truth. I worked out my 'calling' a long time ago and it is still the same today. Discovering this, led me to apply for the ministry. It so happens that, in ministry, I am able to live out my calling. This may seem like a small, insignificant difference - perhaps being pedantic about semantics. For me, however, hearing myself speak this truth was an 'aha' moment, a liberation from the challenges that had been plaguing me.
This was a good lesson to listen to my heart as well as my head. A big thank you to that person for asking an innocent question!