I have a huge stack of books on my nightstand that I am daily reading and absorbing. Authors such as Cornel West, Ayn Rand, Thomas Merton, G.K. Chesterton, Frank Miller, Galen Rowell, Kurt Vonnegut, and Stephen King; a wide-range of literary interests that make up a healthy diet of learning new things about the human condition and about the life that I only get to live once.
Today, in reading “No Man Is An Island” by Thomas Merton, I came across something that really impacted me in the chapter on vocation, which can be defined as a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career:
“The one thing that really decides a vocation is the ability to make a firm decision to embrace a certain state of life and to act on that decision.”
Vocation, or what I do, is a decision. It is then immediately followed by acting upon that decision. It isn’t waiting for someone to validate, affirm or confirm. It is concrete, focused and decided upon. Merton takes it a step further by saying that we can seek guidance as to what we should do, but ultimately:
“He must decide for himself, since his own decision is the expression of his vocation.”
I love that! My decision is an expression of what I do! If I truly make a decision, act upon that decision, that alone expresses what I have been seeking all along.
How does that relate to my life? I can pretend that I am something that I am not. I can flirt with other things that may or may not make me money. The truth is that I have made the decision that my vocation is telling stories through films and photos. It is what truly brings me life and connects me to the lives of others. I have made the decision and I have begun to daily act upon that decision.
So, what decision do you need to make, so that you can act and express what is buried deep in your soul?