Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Matthew Fichter reflects on what God’s calling might be for him after completing the book “The Secret Lives of Introverts” by Jenn Granneman.
In these strange times that persist, perhaps one question that might continue to present itself is “what is God’s calling for me”? In thinking about this question, I have come across some useful tips while partaking in my yearlong goal of reading at least one new book per month. The book for this past month of March was The Secret Lives of Introverts by Jenn Granneman gifted to me by my big, bad, brother (who will soon be a father) Andrew. In chapter 10 titled “Do I Really Have to Do this Again Tomorrow?” an unexpected gem of advice for career seekers appears. From page 222 to 224, the author Jenn Granneman lists the following questions to ask yourself to help find your calling:
“1) What Message do you want to share with the world? . . . If you could rent a billboard in Times Square for just one day, what would you put on it? . . .
2) How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? . . . What qualities, ideas, or philosophies would you want others to have when you’re gone? . . .
3) What did you want to be when you grew up? . . . Many of our aspirations were born in childhood.
4) What kind of tasks don’t feel like work to you? . . . Build your calling around these energizing tasks.
5) What kind of work would you never do again, no matter how much you were paid? . . . Figuring out what is definitely not your calling can help you narrow your options.
6) Who is doing your dream job, and what can you learn from them? . . . Figure out how they got to where they are today.”
I do not yet have the answer to the single question of God’s calling, but in reflecting on it I have realized that if I stay persistent in the search and listen, God will provide an answer. As Jesus says in Mt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (New American Bible, Matthew 7.7). Like with any goal or yearning for growth, being persistent and consistent can be very difficult and trying, but it can also be a surefire way of achieving success when correctly practiced. In my difficult and trying moments, I need to be reminded of God’s love and mercy and of my value to Him. In late March this year, I wrote in my journal the following prayer, which is a self-reminder to stay strong in the fight and always find peace in God’s love.
O merciful, compassionate, kind, patient, gentle, humble, ever-loving, ever- forgiving God, remember me when I come into Your kingdom. Help me to choose You over all else. Over the lies I perpetuate in my mind and fears I create or hold onto. Free my heart of its burdens, of guilt, of shame, of jealousy, of anger, of hatred, of resentment, of sin, and return it to its natural state of love. Help me Lord to give of this love, freely and unbinding and without restraint. Help me to recognize my worthiness in Your kingdom. Though my body is weak and wounded, my mind anxious and distressed, give me the strength and determination to keep on fighting. No I won’t stop Lord. Help me to get back up, stand tall, and remain in the battle for Your love. If not for my sake, for the sake of Your will, and my brothers and sisters that will reap the fruit of Your relentless love and mercy. May Your justice reign forever. Amen.
Reflection question: What ways might YOU be reminded of God’s love for you? In the search for God’s calling in YOUR life, what are some ways to persevere in the most difficult of moments and stay positive and trusting in God?