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God’s Will for Us and “The Little Way” - A Reflection on Call
by Cynthia Nikolai | December 15, 2016
God’s Will for Us and “the Little Way”
A Reflection on Call
For me, discovering my vocation did not come quickly. I searched for my vocation for years until I finally found it. I had smaller vocations along the way, which, looking back, I now realize were vocations. At the time, however, they did not feel like vocations to me. I had always helped in the church, but I wanted to do something more; I had a longing for a more global vision, and the smaller vocations didn’t seem like a passionate way of life for me. I was looking for that one big passion that I could throw myself into and get lost in for years. Of course, the journey is not over yet, but that one deep passion did not come. Rather what did come was a way of life that I found, a series of small vocations that, taken together, add up to a larger one.
I also discovered through my struggles how to hear a calling. I was thinking too globally, before, and I didn't know how to translate my global longings into smaller, local callings. Don’t get me wrong, thinking and acting globally is good, but for some of us, moving to new countries or affecting change on the world stage may not be feasible in our current situation. We need to learn how to “bloom where we are planted.” It begins with the talents and abilities that God gave us, talents that sometimes we don’t even realize we have. God gave us our talents and abilities for a reason, and he wants us to use them to help bring the Kingdom of God to earth.
Sometimes, it’s good to step outside ourselves, but generally, God doesn’t want to make us do something that we don’t like doing. Vocation is the sweet spot where our will meets God’s will. Sometimes this involves stepping outside of ourselves, and sometimes it involves using our talents and abilities where we are planted. If you still feel that global longing, hold on to it. God is still longing for you too! And he may just have a surprise in store for you!
Yet if you are still struggling to find your passion, hang in there. There may be some smaller vocations along the way that God is calling you to. As St. Theresa of Lisieux put it, there may be “a little way” for you that leads to your bigger vocation as a series of smaller daily journeys along the way.
Cynthia Nikolai is a recent PhD graduate in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. She began her career studying Mathematics at Villanova University. She earned a commission in the US Air Force and served her first tour in Space and Missiles. She attended Catholics on Call in 2007. Cynthia’s interests include Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Education, and being a Catholic Scientist for the Church.