Last night I went to a benefit dinner for a nonprofit service dog organization. The dogs were impressive – responding to the slightest needs of their owners, smiling, and enjoying their work. As the evening slipped by and different people expounded on what the dogs can do, it became evident that the dogs weren’t so much trained to work, as their abilities to serve were being identified and nurtured. The dogs were living out their calling; they were living out the service they were designed for.
This caused me to reflect upon myself, and human beings in general. Are we living the lives we were designed for? Have we found our vocation or are we submitting to merely getting by in life? Martin Luther believed that people don’t have ‘jobs,’ per se, they have ‘vocations’ – a specified avenue by which God works through them. This can range from homemaker to honor guard, trash collector to taxidermist, lawyer to librarian, etc. It is something that you enjoy doing and causes you to serve others, as well as to encounter God in a more meaningful way.
On my way home from work yesterday, I passed a vehicle that had the words “It’s all about me” plastered across the windshield. Are they true? Yes and no. Each of us desires fulfillment in this life; we seek it in all that we do. Some find it through extreme sports, others by continuing their education or advancing in their careers. Some pour out their lives in service of others, while many find seek fulfillment in satisfiying every passing whim. People, having been created in God’s image, are designed for fulfillment, but it does not come by serving ourselves. We will only be satisfied in soul and spirit when we surrender to our Creator and allow Him to fulfill His will for our lives.
Listening for God goes against our nature, since it requires us to be still and wait when we want to move and act. However, if we want to discover the ultimate meaning of life we will need to pay the price. Hey, if the dogs can do it…can you?