Among the most recent batch of books to arrive on our doorstep was Gilbert Meilaender's The Freedom of a Christian: Grace, Vocation, and the Meaning of our Humanity. Perhaps because his arms are longer, or perhaps because I'm moving a little slower in the third tri, my husband got his hands on it first. But he has abided by the household rule of sharing choice tidbits.
So these excerpts are all I've read of the book so far, but they caught my attention, so I'll go ahead and post them. (Just don't ask me for more context yet.)
"A vocation exacts a price, and not all can pay it. Even though it may seem to draw us, its point is not happiness. It is, as C.S. Lewis notes, the nature of vocation to appear simultaneously both as desire and as duty. 'To follow the vocation does not mean happiness; but once it has been heard, there is no happiness for those who do not follow'" (105).
This resonating with anyone else?!
"Do you want to know what is your vocation? Then the first question to ask is not, "What do I want to do with my life?" It is not as if I first come to know myself and then choose a vocation that fulfills and satisfies me. For it is only by hearing and answering the divine summons, by participating in my calling, that I can come to know who I am. We are not who we think we are; we are who God calls us to be" (106).
"The story of Jesus's own obedience makes it clear that what looks like an annihilation of the self may, in fact, be its enlargement. We flourish as we answer obediently God's call" (108-109).
I found this last to be especially meaningful, as I've lately been looking into the Scriptural perspective on the whole idea of "self-esteem"/pride in all its manifestations, both subtle and overt. Seems pretty clear: if we're navel-gazing, we're missing it, completely. Our life is found in the death of self: baptized into Christ's death, we rise from the waters in His life! Apart from Christ, we have no life. What looks like the annihilation of self (e.g., CSPP) is the annihilation of self--and the only means to life.
Anyway. Nothing y'all don't already know, but I wanted to share the quotes.