I delivered this sermon as part of DC's LGBT Capital Pride Interfaith Service on June 6, 2006. This is a core teaching within my tradition and school. I was asked to share this teaching after I delivered an abbreviated version during DC Pagan Pride last year.
I offer the sermon here because of the many requests I recieved after the service. It is an honor and a blessings to be able to share my life's work with so many spiritual seekers on the path.
bless you all,
What is vocation? And why is it important?
Vocation at its core is a divine summons. The divine calls to each of us in our own unique way; it calls us to manifest the very purpose of our life. It is the proverbial wake up call to get on with it already. It is a call to participate fully in life. It is a call to purpose. Yes, purpose; we each have a reason we are here. And vocation is the call to get on with the purpose of very lives.
We each bring with us into this weary world, a unique jewel to be discovered, polished and shared. We each are like beautifully wrapped parcels that are just waiting to be opened. This gift, this jewel, is our vocation. You see we each have a special role to play in the tending and blossoming of human life.
But all too often, we are discouraged from pursuing our gifts. We are born into a world that seems to spend most of its time putting barriers in front of us, or blinders on us, that it is often a struggle just to survive. And even if we can get past all the obstacles placed in front of us like race, class, gender, religion, orientation, caste, physical ability, and national origin, we still need to face our own inner barriers. We still have to face our own beliefs about vocation.
In my experience, I have noted three mistaken beliefs about vocation. These beliefs often stop us from tapping the hidden jewel within.
In acknowledging ones true vocation, we can find both purpose and meaning. And we need not sacrifice our talents or our connections to life.
In my experience there are three ways to discover your vocation. I recommend that you try all three.
Here are the archetypes of vocation I use within my personal path, my mystery school and my spiritual tradition. I suspect that most people can find themselves within two or more of these archetypes.
Power: Vision, Bring what is seen in the ether into the manifest
Variations: Creatrix, Painter, Sculptor, Poet, Print-maker, Designer, Writer, Programmer, Inventor, Composer, Singer, Craftsman, Architect, Engineer, Scientist, Physicist, Choreographer, Seamstress, Fashion Designer, etc.
Meditation: Manifesting your dreams and desires
Power: Heart, protect what is important
Variations: Activists, Advocates, Lawyers, Leaders, Soldiers, Orange Hats, Guards, Forest Rangers, Media, etc.
Meditation: Protecting the preciousness at the center of your life
Power: Flow, remove obstacles to healthy flow
Variations: Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Medical Practitioners, Acupuncturists, Reiki Healers, Massage Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Health Technicians, Counselors, Clergy, etc.
Meditation: Finding, healing and removing whatever is blocking your flow?
Power: Memory, nurture and guide the growing things
Variations: Farmers, Gardeners, Parents, Teachers, Childcare Providers, Green Activists, Firefighters, etc.
Meditation: What is growing within and how can you nourish it? How are you tending the needs of the future?
We often in our lives hear about people who have vocations. We hear about teachers and doctors. We hear about living saints like Mother Theresa and Mother Amma in India.
But we also remember ancestors like Minister Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford who in 1877 may have been the first openly lesbian minister in the US. And we acknowledge all the counselors, churches and clergy who, having opened their hearts, minds and doors, are clearly acting as healers. And we ask ourselves, where have we opened ourselves to helping, healing and caring for those in need?
We read James Baldwin and we can just perceive how he opened up his soul and let it all come tumbling out. We gaze in wonder at the art of Frida Kahlo and we understand the sheer energy, focus and passion that it must have taken to create it. But when we look in the mirror, do we see that same passion, that same focus or that same energy? Can we find a way to tap into the deep reservoirs of our own soul?
We remember heroes like Jack Nichols who in 1961 founded the Mattachine Society. We pour libations for brave warriors like Audre Lourdre who inspired women, black women and black lesbians the world over. We remember pioneers like Harry Hay one of the fathers of radical gay spirituality. Can we be so bold, so brave and so daring? Can we not?
We remember with deep gratitude people like Minister Troy Perry who in 1968 started what became MCC. And we look around at all the people here in this room, who have labored to build an interfaith coalition. And tonight we in this room are the fruit of their labors. This is vocation. This is what I am talking about as answering the call of the divine.
And so I as I look out at all of you here tonight, I have a question or two for you. What are the ways you are answering the call of the divine in your own heart, in your own life and in your own community? What roles do you play? Are you an artist? Are you taking the time to manifest your dreams? Are called to heal? Have you found a way to apply a balm to the suffering souls around you? Is advocacy and activism, the path you feel called to walk? Is their something you need to fight for not just against? Do you feel the urge to build something? Where are you nurturing new growth and tending to the needs of the future? And if you hear this call, feel this call in your very bones … what are you doing about it?
I invite you to join me, to join us. There is a great big world out there that needs all of us awake, aware and ready to act on our dreams, our hopes and our core values. And we need every single one of you. None of you are expendable; we each have our unique contribution, our unique gift to share. C’mon, the phone is ringing. Answer the call!
©2006 Katrina Messenger