"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 It's Wednesday night, and in an hour we'll be gathering at Rockwell House for Eucharist.
Tonight, we'll be celebrating the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. We'll be using that reading from Acts, the original ending of the Gospel of Mark and a clip from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (the scene where Donald Sutherland convinces Buffy that she's got a gift by throwing a knife at her head, which she instinctively catches perfectly) to look at the whole question of call.
As I've been preparing for tonight, I've thought a lot about all the conversations I've had about call in ECM through the years. For college students, it's obviously a big topic.
What strikes me more than anything is how rare and wonderful the experiences like St. Paul's are. Where there is a moment of such extreme clarity that even though the decision might be difficult, the path is absolutely clear. More common and more frustrating are the countless times that doesn't happen ... where we truly believe Christ is moving in our lives but we can't figure out where it is moving us. More common and more frustrating are the times others see things in us we just can't see in ourselves.
But the more I think about it, I think those more common and, in many ways, more difficult routes are in the long run the better ones. I know one student who is really struggling with vocational call ... and I cannot tell you how much I admire how much she is hanging in the struggle with integrity ... doggedly looking for Christ's guiding voice ... and in the process she is discovering so much more about herself and cultivating gifts of patience and endurance that she never would have had otherwise.
One of the great gifts I'm given in my work, is I get to follow these amazing people through thoses processes. I get to watch them learn and grow. I get to watch them support and love each other through it all. And when those times of clarity come, I get to watch them be brave and courageous and happy and ecstatic.
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."