I’m a practicing Christian. One of the most powerful parts of the Christian tradition is the idea of vocation, or ‘calling’. I always think I hear a strong call, but spiritual leadership isn’t the only Vocation with a capital ‘V’. Some traditions talk about marriage as a vocation. And the metaphor has been widely borrowed. For me I know I’m on the path of my vocation when I’m at peace on a hard road, when there is joy in the labor itself. I often tell students to volunteer to help them find a career: if they’re willing to do something ‘for free’, there is a good chance they won’t mind getting paid for it later on.
I came home from my speaking engagement and subsequent lunch with great contentment. After a mostly sleepless night, the talk came off just fine. The major points were well received. I was able to hear and accept the feedback regarding certain logical inconsistencies in my presentation from more senior scholars. I was pointed towards new fascinating evidence; I have an appointment to view some great specimens this Thursday. The lunch was borrowed time with a mentor whose cancer is in remission and a host of other senior scholars — sometimes a cantankerous group, but peace reigned, maybe due to a general sense of gratitude our host was still with us.
The lack of sleep made me think maybe a nap was in order, but I was so excited I instead just sat leafing through some beautiful full color catalogs I was given today looking for a coin to write about here. So I sat for an hour or so with some very happy cats. I was getting up to check something when a check fell out of my bag. A speaking honorarium. I’d been handed it first thing this morning. Some eight hours ago. My ‘wages’. In my happiness I’d completely forgotten to even peek to see what I’d earned. I’m really grateful. Not only that I love my work so much, but that I have the luxury of not living meal to meal or check to check.