A recent birthday (73) started me thinking about how I wanted to spend the rest of my life on earth. I figure it’s time to get focused.
I started thinking about the usual bucket list things – travel, gourmet meals, and other consumables – like getting a red car. They’d be fun, exciting, maybe even sensational, but I wanted more. I wanted heart-rich experiences, yet had no idea how to describe them. Clarity eluded me. To what was God calling me?
In the midst of my pondering a friend read me a quote from Frederick Buechner:
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
Deep gladness. Buechner’s words brought startling clarity. What brings me deep gladness? Experiencing the Spirit’s movement as He brings out of me unexpected words that feed others’ unknown hungers. Writing. Teaching. Interacting. Heart connecting. The events are almost electric. Each time they happen gladness bubbles up and highlights my calling: I’m called to share truth.
What triggers deep gladness differs markedly from person to person. Recently I told another friend about Buechner’s quote and she instantly knew what brought her deep gladness: her work as a nanny. Feeding kids with love and fun and time brings her gladness and meets their hunger. That’s her calling. Buechner might more closely share my calling, for his writing (undoubtedly his place of deep gladness) must meet many deep hungers. It certainly met mine. He may never read these words, but Frederich, if you do, I send you my deep thanks.
What am I called to do with my remaining time on earth? Attend to the place where my deep gladness meets others’ deep hunger. And you? Whatever your age, you’re called to do the same.
What brings you deep gladness? (You need to know.)
You’ll find Buechner’s quote in his book, Wishful Thinking: A Seekers ABC.
(See the section “Vocation” on pp. 118-119.)
What Brings You Deep Gladness?
© Lynne Fox, 2016