I’m an ordinary sort of person and that’s how I find God; disguised in the ordinary of my life. That’s my vocation too – helping others to recognise God in their ordinary, writes Judith Lynch in The Good Oil.
At some point in my early teens, just when I was discovering there was more to the opposite sex than beneath-my-notice little brothers, I fell in love with God. Which is why, aged 16, wearing a fetching little hat and my first pair of high heels, I left my weeping parents and chuffed off to be a nun.
While the rest of my class prepared to be nurses, teachers or secretaries, I was one of the chosen ones! In the terminology of the day, I had a vocation. Nobody questioned it, least of all me. In the family photo album there is a shot of my mother and me taken the day of my first vows. There I am, all flowing black and white, my 18-year-old face encircled by a stiff coif, and there’s my mum in a smart, tight-fitting suit, spike heels and red nails.
That picture captures something of what I understand about vocation. It’s a trust in something way bigger than the imagination can capture. In its first heady romantic moments it makes light of the cost. That’s why my mother’s spike heels and red nails didn’t stand a chance against God. Vocation is not about the what, but the Who.
My God-dream carried me through teacher-training and 12 years on Aboriginal settlements. I survived sand fly bites, the heat and living in communities of three or four women. I loved outback teaching and something about the wide open spaces of the Northern Territory touched a place in me that I didn’t yet know was there. But by my early 30s, I knew it was time to take me and my vocation somewhere else.
A Michael Leunig cartoon says, 'You can’t lose the plot; it’s stuck to you!' So is vocation – God’s plot, if you like. I thought I’d left my vocation along with my neatly-folded habit. What really happened was that it took a back seat while I earned a living teaching grade fours, learnt to drive, and discovered the joys of shopping.
FULL STORY My god-dream