She paraphrased my question in such a way that I couldn't stop thinking about it: "You would like to go on the vocational journey?" The reason it struck me is that I, as a Christian, am already on my own personal vocational journey—as is every true follower of Christ.
The English word vocation is derived from the Latin word vocare, which means "to call." According to Webster's Dictionary, a vocation is "a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action; especially a divine call to the religious life." We baptized members have received our summons, accepted it and are now taking part in a lifelong journey through which we strive to be worthy of the vocation for which we were selected.
Our vocation, our divine calling, is to be in the ruling government of God, when His Kingdom is established here on earth. Concerning these positions, notice what the prayers of the saints state in Revelation 5:10: "And [You, Christ] have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth." So, our ultimate vocations are to be kings and priests in the coming Kingdom of God. What a bright and glorious future we have ahead of us!
However, in order to have this future, we must go through a lifetime of training in order to prepare for it. Think of it this way: When applying for a job, we must have the skills necessary for that position, and our future position is no exception.
In Matthew 5:3-10 Christ gives us the characteristics that we must develop in order to fulfill our calling.
- First on the list, we must be poor in spirit, humble before both men and God.
- Second, we must learn to mourn for sin and its consequences.
- Third, we must become meek, enduring injury with patience instead of resentment.
- Fourth, we must always seek righteousness, striving with our whole heart.
- Fifth, we must be merciful, just as God has been merciful to us.
- Sixth, we must become pure in heart, being undefiled by sin.
- Seventh, we must learn to make peace, always seeking to overcome strife and division.
- Eighth, we must be willing to endure persecution for righteousness' sake.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is the foundation that godly character is built on.
The development of these characteristics and attitudes doesn't happen overnight. We must work hard to obtain and develop them, and some of them can only be learned through hard trials. We must stay strong through these trials, because through them God is preparing and teaching us.
In James 1:2-4 we are told to "count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Of course we not only learn through trials, but also through blessings and opportunities that are placed before us. Through these ways of teaching, God is preparing and training us for the ultimate job, a job He selects specifically for His precious sons and daughters.
Since the day I asked if I could attend the vocational field trips, I have gone on two—first to Jerash and then to a banana farm in the Jordan Valley—and they were both wonderful experiences! Darren and I know that God is using the opportunities presented to us through the Jordan Project to create and refine the above characteristics within us.
As Christians, we need to stay focused on our vocational journey and work hard so that our lives reflect the training necessary to be worthy of the positions for which we were selected. UN
Read more about the volunteers' experience in Jordan by visiting their blog at www.uycjordan10.blogspot.com