Session 1. Called by God in Multiple Ways
Reading: Chapter One in The Stories We Live
Resource: Calling Journal
Gracious God I pray,
When I hear a call, may I awaken to your voice.
When I awaken to your voice, may I say yes.
When I say yes, may I follow faithfully.
When I follow faithfully, may you bless me with the grace to give my life away.
When I give my life away, may all your people be blessed. Amen.
Part 1. Introducing "Calling"
Calling and vocation is a central part of the Christian life, encompassing:
(From: The Stories We Live: Finding God's calling All Around Us. Kathleen Cahalan. Eerdmans, 2017.)
Part 2. Reflecting on "Calling" in Images
Use the Calling Images to name your experience of God's calling in your life. Open the "Calling Images" PDF (attached) and select one image that reflects your experience of calling. After you select one image, reflect on the following questions. Write your reflections in your Calling Journal.
Print a copy of your photo and include it in your Calling Journal, along with your responses to the questions above.
Part 3. Exploring Three Images of "Calling"
Read & Review
Review the three images of calling from Chapter 1 of The Stories We Live. Here's a brief summary:
Each of these images—acorn, pilgrimage, and surprising discovery—is a key way to experience God’s call. The images tell us that vocation is something we make with God, who can be known and named as planner, walking companion, and gift giver. In these sense our experiences of God and vocation are better understood on a continuum from the highly detailed to the less precise, with everything in between.
Some people experience callings as a choice they make, while others sense that they have no choice but are born into their vocation or given gifts they must use. When you hear God’s call in your life and in the lives of those around you, remember to affirm that God has many ways, not just one way.
God does not create us with a vocation (one single plan that God has made), but with the capacity for vocations (that ability to engage in dialogue with God and others to create a plan for our life). Vocation becomes then, a creative act, something we create with God and others, unique to each of our lives.
Part 4. Reflecting: How Do You See Your Calling?
Reflect on the three questions below and record your answers in your Calling Journal.
When God calls and you say “no,”
may God open your ears and change your heart.
When God calls and you say “maybe,”
may God nudge you closer to your true self.
When God calls and you say “yes,”
may you listen and embark on the journey in faith and joy. Amen.