Do you have a strong impulse toward a particular course of action? This is what some would define as a calling. What is to be done with this impulse? Do we, as possessors of a limited mind, have the ability to answer this call? The answer does not come by simply picking up a phone. In order to get our answer, we must embark on a journey of discernment. This type of journey is to detect with our senses, other than vision; to come to know or recognize mentally; to see or understand the difference between a true calling and an option. I believe this is when belief plays an important role. Belief and faith go hand in hand. Both belief and faith require a certain degree of a firm stance in something or for something where there is no physical proof. When faith and belief are brought into the equation to find the answer we begin what is called a faith journey.
It is suggested that we hear the words of the preacher from Ecclesiastes “In much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” He is correct from this point of view, yet we must remember that the preacher was contemplating the vanity of the pursuit of earthly interests. As the discernment process continues, it is very helpful to keep in mind that knowledge divorced from God is a practical absurdity and is spiritually impertinent. The more that can be learned of the natural laws, the better equipped we are to pass from this world into the next. This ultimately brings us to how we see and perceive God. Perceptions of God are defined on a personal level by each individual based on his or her faith journey.
A correlation can be found between everything and every being on Earth. If we are to understand anything completely then we need to be able to understand everything. A lofty goal, certainly. It is not an absolute which evidence convinces us, it is the evidence that one thing is more true and accurate than the other. Absolute truths need no evidence, because they are complete in themselves. It is important to keep this in mind when we are considering religious matters. Our system/s of logic and reasoning are human and are vulnerable.
Yes, there is plenty of physical evidence to show that God does in fact exist. As stated earlier, this is where our faith/belief system comes into play. The proof of anything, including our faith journey begins with a call. With this said, there must be a First Cause. Without this First Cause, common sense simply collapses and all our thinking loses its validity. Briefly let’s establish this First Cause. The First Cause is called God – the Creator – the Source of all things – and of our very existence demands Him unless it is preferred to question our very existence. Our world is so much more complicated and our comprehension of it grows slowly, yet every step teaches us with increasing clarity that it is understandable, and that there must be an intelligence which has produced it and continues to govern it. In other words, the Supreme Intelligence is whom we call God.
Laws just do not arise spontaneously. The laws and callings in this particular discussion come from a Lawgiver. There is a purpose in these laws and the callings, which only the Lawgiver could have put there. The purposes implanted in His laws are called the Divine Will. There is this concept of a moral sense which is universal in mankind. It prompts us to do things because we ought to do them whether we want to or not. At different times and among different people this inner impulse expresses itself in a variety of moral codes and customs, yet the variations only emphasize the universal presence of the impulse itself. The distinction of right and wrong, the consciousness of moral responsibility is therefore, inbred in us, a moral factor in human nature. It cannot be said that this is an artificially cultivated reaction to the conventional standards of our day because consciousness often forces us to go opposite to current public opinion. This is not another law which demands a lawgiver, but a Moral Arbiter, who is called God – the Decider, the Referee, the Umpire, and Judge of human conduct.
God has created human life for a purpose. God has equipped mankind with reason, emotion, willpower, and a sense of moral responsibility in order that mankind may work out a complete life in response to His divine Will. If God is to be true to the principle of His own creation, He must then allow us to develop our own destiny. Because God is the Father of mankind, He will not leave us to do it alone. Clearly, if we are to accomplish His will, we must be taught what His will is. The entire history of mankind tells of mans persistent striving to find God and our untiring efforts to know Him. Yes, it is completely absurd to think that God could have invested mankind with this capacity and this yearning without being prepared to meet us half-way by revealing Himself to us. Not to do so would be plainly and painfully unfair – it would be expecting the impossible. Our heavenly Father is as considerate of His children as a human father is of his.
The human father knows he must offer a helping hand. The heavenly Father can and does no less. It is significant to remember that God called Gideon to the leadership of Israel while he was doing his ordinary work on the thrashing floor. David was tending sheep when God spoke to him via Samuel. God came to Amos while he was performing his duties as a herdsman. Jesus called Peter and John while they were pursuing their daily occupation as fishermen.
With this we have started our faith journey. We discerned what a calling is. In the next edition of Convergent Streams, we will take the time to turn our eyes inward to determine how we see, and how we “know” God.
The Rev. Deacon Dennis Klinzing is a deacon in the United States Old Catholic Church. He is stationed in Augusta, Georgia. He is working his way toward the priesthood. He, his partner, and his two children live in Augusta, GA.