What is Vocation? What is Discernment?
Vocation (vo 'ka shen)
To call (from the latin "Vocare")
Life task by which one earns a living
To enter and live by a religious belief or way of life (i.e. priest, deacon, or nun)
No matter how you define vocation, one definition that can bring great purpose to one's life is a Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and way of life. In other words "Its what you do while you do what you do."
Each of us has a vocation. So you want to become a teacher, a lawyer, a gardner, a receptionist. A doctor, a network engineer, a musician, an administrator. You want to live your life as a mother, a father, an Aunt or Uncle. Vocation is the act of living out the gifts and talents that allow you to live as the lawyer, musician, father, or aunt. It's responding to the call of God's service in your own unique way.
Vocation is concerned with...
But what if you are still discovering your gifts and talents? Or, perhaps you want to explore additional possibilities, good discernment skills will guide your decisions.
Discern (dis 'cern)
To perceive as being different, to distinguish
To recognize or comprehend
To sift and sort
The gift that God gave us that He didn't give the rest of creation is the Gift of Choice. What defines us are the choices we make and the actions that reflect them - our decisions. Discerning is taking into consideration all elements of choice and utilizing those considerations in service of the greater good of God and His creation.
Good discernment and decision making marks the intersection of the following four questions:
- What do I deeply enjoy about who I am and what I do? What am I most passionate about?
- What talents do I have naturally? What gifts have I most developed?
- What does the world around me need right now? What career path have I chosen and how will that fit into the needs of the world?
- Which option is best for me? Which option will be best in providing service to the world?