How Do We Acquire a Calling?

A calling is a strong inner urge to become religious, or take up some specific way of life, vocation, or activity. I cannot speak for today’s churches, but the ancient concept prospers in the arts. Many writers, poets, composers, and painters will happily describe how they were “called” to their particular art form.

Romantic image of a ruined castle on a rugged coast.

The romantic landscape may summon the feeling. Call it joy, delight, enchantment, or bliss, we all spend more time chasing it than we realize. These special feelings point the way to our spiritual or vocational calling.

How does one acquire a calling? The old myth of the soul choosing its life before it is born presents us with an entertaining idea, but one that is, when one stops to think about it, not very enlightening. In the end, such easy mystical explanations leave one feeling unsatisfied. By hiding more than they reveal, they do not assuage the hunger to know and understand. Let us leave aside such colourful fancies and look for a more substantial way of coming to grips with our question.

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