By Father John Donovan/ SUN contributing writer
This piece is currently past dealine. The editor fortunately trusts me enough to know that my 500 words give or take, will arrive in time, but later than deisred for appropriate layout and editing. Past contributions to this column have run over and some nuances and amusing anecdotes have had to be cut out, as they were in exces in driving home the same point. In most cases, I have been very attunded to deadlines, never handing in an academic paper late or even requesting an extension, not even with my taxes; nor being delayed in budget submissions. I am rather an orderly person in that fashion.
Recently though, there have been several items in my life, that well slipped through the cracks that I have to spend inordinate amounts of time rectifying. the ordinary items like my bank card, and phone bill each needed attention as they were lost or incorrect and thus I spent what seems like hours calling, listening to menus and being placed on hold until a custome representative was available. When finally able to spwak with a live voice, I found myself stating, this is unlike me, I am an orderly person, I keep good records and do things on time and never lose things. Wrong!
Dealing with these minor daily frustrations has reminded me of the difference between my plans and God’s plan. As much as I desire order, and make the efforts to live by that, in my humanness, things wil be lost, incorrect or late. There is no one set way to live, other than to follow not my plan, but God’s plan. If it requires that I be reminded of my imperfection every now and then, so be it.
This issue of the paper is devoted to Vocation Awareness, as Sunday May 2 is a worldwide day of prayer for vocations to Gonsecrated Life and Diocesean Priesthood. There are stories of individuals who sought out God’s plan, and along the way lived lives that may not meet the expectations onlookers have of what it takes to become a religious or priest. The process of discernment for many of us in determining God’s will, is rarely a smooth path, or a set pattern. There is no deadline as to the time of life when it must be accomplished. The only requirement is that it be sought and when realized, followed.
It is a misconception to believe that a ministerial vocation in Consecrated Life and Diocesean Priesthood is to be responded to by the young. The “chronologically gifted” may also still be determining a call as well. However, if it is not explored, discussed ore even considered tehn the dealine is being ignored, even if the answer is no. What deadline you may ask? Simply, how do I recognize the difference to live God’s will rather than my own. The deadline that exists is one of a life of service, be it in family, community or Church. The dealine that exists is one of diong what God requires of us; to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our Lord. (Micah 6:8)