Someone once told me that they thought Jesus would never call us to do something with our lives that we didn’t want to do. I tend to disagree. Let me explain.
God Has Certainly Asked People to do Things They Don’t Want to do
Jesus is God, right? Christianology 101. Well, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son and at the time, I bet Abraham wasn’t to thrilled. Quite the opposite, I’m sure. Still, Abraham put God above his own immediate desires, even though it seemed crazy, and he marched to the top of Mount Moriah, growing more fearful each step of the way.
Then, at the moment of truth, as Abraham was about to do the unthinkable simply to follow God, the angel of the Lord stopped him from murder (Exodus 22:11). God provided a ram from nearby for the sacrifice (22:13) and promised that He would multiply the descendants of Abraham as the, “stars in the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore (22:17).”
Jesus Wants the ABSOLUTE BEST for Me
So now, I ask myself, “Would Jesus ever call me to do something that I didn’t want to do?” Yes. At least that’s how it seems on the surface.
The more concise answer is: Jesus would never call me to do something that isn’t the absolute best for me; and only Jesus knows what is the absolute best for me, just as He knew what was best for Abraham.
My Journey of Discernment
When I first began to open my mind and heart to the priesthood four years ago, I was confident that I was being called to married life. Why? Because I wanted it so bad. I wanted to love my wife sacrificially, with my whole heart. I wanted to love my children and raise them to be little saints.
I wanted it, so it had to be true.
Presently, desires towards the priesthood have resurfaced. They are stronger. It’s not just me daydreaming about giving a rock star homily or how cool it is to be able to absolve sins. It’s different. My heart wants to give everything to the Lord. I yearn to serve Him with my whole life and leave everything behind to share the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.
I long to dine with the poor, show compassion for the sick and pray for all who lack God’s love. These aren’t desires that were common to me a year ago and they are still developing.
The truth is, part of me still wants to be a husband and a Father, in the earthly sense, and sometimes I fear leaving the married vocation behind. Yet, I’ve learned never to make decisions based on fear.
Step One: Have an Open Heart
So, this year, I’m discerning. God provided the desire and a spiritual director (a priest to pray with me and help me address the questions I have about the priesthood). It’s my duty to respond in faithfulness with an open heart. Only God knows where it will lead.
Pray for me as I strive to follow God no matter where He leads. And don’t ever think that because you don’t want to do something, that it’s not meant for you. That might be true, but only God knows the true desires of your heart and it is only in prayer, in quiet contemplation of the face of Christ where we discover those desires and receive the grace to pursue His call in our life.
St John Vianney, pray for us.
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Next year, I’ll be remaining a Life Teen Missionary in Houston. Even as I discern, I am called to live fully into my current vocation as a missionary. I’ll be needing some extra support as I prepare for another year of missions! Thanks for your help!
OR – support our Europe trip this summer -