The other week we attended our son’s GCSE options evening and, apart from the process seeming far more stressful and complicated than it was when I chose my O levels over 30 years ago, it caused me to pause and think.
The first part of the evening consisted of a welcome and introduction followed by an explanation of the process and what the young people could and couldn’t choose. The member of staff then proceeded to ask the pupils to consider two questions in choosing their options:
“What subjects do you do best at?”
“Which of them do you enjoy the most?”
This started me thinking about what we do when we consider our calling. Do we consider what we are good at (our gifts) and what we enjoy doing when we think about what God is calling us to do or to be? Whilst God may ask us to move out of our comfort zone He is the one who gave us our gifts and made us who we are. When we say to our children that we want them to do the best they can so that they can meet their potential do we allow ourselves to do the same? Do we use our gifts to serve God? We all have gifts even if we don’t acknowledge them. This should be our starting point in thinking about vocation – what are we good at? What are we passionate about? Starting from this point of view we can then consider how we may be called to use them.
When my son has chosen his options it won’t be the end of the choices he will need to make, and those two questions might be useful further down the road.