During my morning prayer time today, I came across a prayer by Walter Brueggmann in his book Prayers for a Privileged People which talked about our BIG PURPOSE. The prayer, which is entitled "Swept to Big Purposes," reminds us that we care called to make a difference in the world, and that the difference is made when we are different. Here is the prayer in its entirety:
You call and we have a vocation.
You send and we have an identity
You accompany us and we are swept to big purposes:
chosen race, royal priesthood, your own people, receiving mercy.
But we, in our restlessness,
do not want to be so peculiar.
We would rather be like the others,
eager for their wealth - their wisdom - their power.
Eager to be like them -
comfortable, beautiful, young, free.
We yearn to be like the others,
and you make us odd and peculiar and different.
Grant that we may find joy in our baptism,
freedom in our obedience,
delight in our vocation.
The same joy, freedom, and delight
that so marked our Lord
whom we follow into oddness.
As I finish typing out that prayer, I am again struck by the power in the words that call us to be different and to make a difference in the world...and it is within that difference that we find our calling and vocation...and it is within that calling and vocation that we find our delight and joy. There are many days I wonder what "difference" I can make - will make - am making in the world. I catch a glimpse of it at times as I watch people's lives change and as they head into their own callings and vocations, ready to make a difference. There are many stories I can tell where this has become a reality for me...and yet I always seem to want more. There is a part of me (and I am sure a part of each of us) that yearns to be like the others,wanting the wealth, wisdom and power that comes with title, position and prestige. And yet, we are made to be odd, peculiar, and different.
So as you consider your vocation - your unique calling - your big purpose, think about how you are making a difference by being different...and bask in the joy, freedom, and delight that is yours to enjoy!