Too many times do we get sucked up into the norms of society and learn how to settle with it. When you grow up around something being done one certain way it is often hard to steer off that path. I grew up with the understanding that I would go to college, get a degree, and start my career in the business world because that is what my Dad did. It seems like the normal way to do things. However, I have learned that finding your vocation is breaking away from the normal routine of society and finding your true calling in life that combines your talents and attributes with what society needs from you as a servant. I believe it not only takes faith and willingness, but it takes a large amount of courage to break away from this cycle of life that society has created.
When reading the article, “The Chosen Path” by William C. Spohn, I could quickly relate to the content I was coming across. When Spohn wrote, “It looks to work only as a means to a financial end”, I could immediately say I agree. When choosing my career, I wanted to do something I loved to do or could see myself doing for a long time, but also I wanted to make sure it reaped the necessary income to live the life that I wanted. I looked at work as a means of income, just like Spohn writes, for providing the necessary funding to live my life doing other things that were not associated with my career. I thought that was what my life would be all about.
Spohn goes on to write about how our work should be in benefit to what the world needs from us. It is like we are obligated to serve the rest of the world even if they do not serve us. This may seem unfair but this is the way of Jesus. Spohn says that finding your chosen path or vocation takes two parts; faith and the virtue of justice. Faith is necessary because it provides us with self-knowledge and a bond of trust in God’s help. The virtue of justice helps us to look past this norm of society I previously spoke about and to realize what is distorted in the structure of our modern day society. Taking a step back and realizing what the world is suffering from and areas they need help in will help you to better place yourself in a position that you can use your talents to be the most beneficial as possible to the world. Spohn writes, “Without knowledge of the actual conditions of the world, our talents and aspirations can be wasted, sadly, on mere success.
It is easy to tell that Spohn puts service before personal success. This is the underlying concept I think is behind finding your chosen path. Finding personal success, even though there are a lot of people that never do, is easier than searching, finding, withstanding, and persevering your role as a servant to the world and making a difference. I believe that a lot of people have hidden hopes and dreams that they never pursue because of a few things. These things include lack of courage, obstacles, financial situations, and acceptance from peers. Going down the normal path of society doesn’t take much courage. It takes courage to break away and be different. For many years, generations upon generations were stuck in a vicious cycle of doing as the person before you did. There was not an element of becoming different, it just wasn’t an option. Spohn’s and my point is that while searching for your vocation it may take awhile and it may be tough. However, once you find your calling you will know that is what God made you to do and the benefits will be much greater than any personal success obtained from going the normal route.
How does all of this apply to my preparation to life after Holy Cross? It makes me think very intensely about what it is I want to do. This work experience I am gaining currently at my internship has me asking a lot of questions. Are these people really happy with their occupations? Do they feel like they are using there talents and attributes to the best of their abilities? Or are they selling themselves short? I don’t want to have to ask myself those questions every single day on my way to work. I want to find something I can do that has a purpose behind it. After reading this article and combining it with my internship experience I have expanded my knowledge about what it is I should really be pursuing. Like Spohn said, “If God’s invitation had the clarity of marching orders, Ignatius would not have spent 20 years of trail and error acquiring wisdom the hard way”. I feel like I still have a lot to learn, not only about myself, but about how life is also. I have to figure out how to find my true vocation without putting this expensive college degree to waste. I feel that with time and the help of God I will eventually be put into the position I was meant to be in.