Sunday Sermon - Vocation

What would you say if someone was to ask you the following question: who are you? You could reel off a list of personality traits, of interests, even a psychological profile. But what about the question: what do you do for a living? So many people work to pay bills, satisfy commitments, conform to an ideal, but is that all? Are you following the call of the Force, whispering to you and guiding you to where you need to be – if not, then you may find that it ends up shouting or even pushing until the decision is almost forced out of you.

In days gone by, people would find their profession and make it their world. A blacksmith, for example, would always be a blacksmith. They would train, work and live for that very purpose. There was no separation between what they did and who they were. Nowadays it is less common to find such a dedication to a particular field and the pressures of modern life contribute to that feeling of isolation from one's true purpose. Working to live has replaced living to work.

There may be times in your life when you are faced with the possibility of doing things your own way and this need not be something so major as a career choice. Every interest we have plays a part in our enjoyment of life, every thing that lifts our hearts brings us closer to an acceptance of our true selves. You might not be able to quit your job and follow your dream but that doesn't mean that you can't chase it in your spare time. Hobbies, sports, activities: these are all ways of exploring our needs.

Let's look at the concept of “vocation”. From the Latin meaning “to call”, this term originated in Christianity. According to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: “the word refers to our many callings as God's baptized people - whatever our places and opportunities in life, we are called to serve others with love “. The same is true of ourselves – if we follow our heart and listen to the ways of the Force, we can open our entire being to a compassionate and rewarding experience of our own divine essence.

Today we have the opportunity to experience an example of this: one of our brothers in Jediism is committing himself to serving the Force and administering to our community. As an Ordained Minister, he will be expected to provide support and supplication where needed. The Force has led him to this place and he has answered that call with diligent study and dedication, embodying the Jedi Tenets of Focus, Knowledge and Wisdom. By taking the Oaths of Ordination and trusting in the will of the Force, he is following the flow wherever he is guided.

Take a moment to examine the signs in your own life – is there something that you always wanted to do but were afraid to attempt? Do you feel that you should be living a life that's different from your own? Realising this is the first step towards the eventual goal of satisfaction, of truly being at one with the Force. In Taoism, an Eastern form of philosophy and life-guidance, the Way (known as the Tao) is likened to a river or stream that knows exactly where it needs to be; like water, the Force will find a way of being exactly what it should at any given time. We have many ways of resisting this current – perhaps we fear the consequences, maybe our logic and reason conclude that it's not in our interest, maybe it just seems too hard to contemplate. As Jedi, we strive to be guided by our emotions but not controlled by them and throwing rocks of self-made restrictions into the river only serves to make a big splash, covering ourselves with the cold spray of confusion.

Through diligent application of techniques such as meditation, self-examination and communing with the Force, we can achieve all that we need to and become the person that we should be, embodying our highest potential at every moment. Whatever we do, whatever we are, there is a place for us in this astounding and amazing Universe. When the the call comes, how will you answer it?

May the Force Be With You

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