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By Pastor Rose M. Blank St. Paul United Methodist Church, La Porte City
The psalmist reminds us in several places that our lives are in the care and keeping of our God. Psalm 31:14-15 reads, “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.” Psalm 138:8 proclaims, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the words of your hands.” Another translation reads, “Complete the work that you have begun.”
God is doing good in and through the lives of all of us. As we think about our young people who have recently been confirmed in the church or our graduating seniors, both high school and college, we give thanks for the ways God has been and continues to be at work in their lives. We recognize that holy presence that forever leads and guides us.
In Parker Palmer’s book, Let Your Life Speak, he writes about the issue of vocation, which is not just for religious professionals, but it is about who we are called to be. He refers to a poem by Mae Sarton whose quest for vocation led her to write: “Now I become myself.” (p. 9) Our vocation, our becoming who God calls us to be, takes a lifetime of openness to the movement of the Spirit. So to all the graduates, to all who have recently been confirmed in faith in the churches of the community, remember that we never quit learning, we never cease to be open to the Spirit’s call in our lives, we never stop being on the journey that moves us into deeper practices of growing in our spiritual life.
Palmer suggests we think about our vocation not as “a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received.” It’s about accepting the gift of who we already are and being in touch with the inner voice that calls us to be who we are called to become. (p. 10) All of this is to say that for every one of us, young or old, our times really are in God’s hands. God continually guides our journey of life and faith, completing the good work that God has already started so that we can be the love of Christ for the world.