We all know and believe that it is God who has called us. Our vocation comes from Him. However we can ask ourselves: What do we hope for, generally of Him, once we have responded to this call? To respond to this question in my view, is one of the challenges that we face in the experience of our vocation. In other words, it highlights the crucial problem of ambition.
Certainly, we need to encourage in us and in our environment a “healthy” competition. However, we cannot do anything else but to deal with the “cancer” of ambition that is constantly growing; that frantic passion to win, to succeed, whatever the cost. This, we can say, destroys our vocations, and then pollutes our being-in-mission. The achievements are good, but the looming danger of the mania of success can ambush us. It can be a killer! But in what way do we limit this disease? Why do we always desire to succeed and try to leave footprints?
My limited experience helped me to understand everyday that this is due to the fact that, often, once we have said “yes” to the Lord, we hope that something will happens for us. Often we endeavor (even in a watchful manner) that our vocation will be rewarded by God. When this doesn’t happen, we are the ones that force the point or enter into crisis.
What we forget is that God is not subject to the logic of a reward. Unfortunately the image of a God that, generally blankets our spirit is that of a God who gratifies the best and punishes those who are lazy. The consequence of this direction: Each one seeks to be the best. It is important that we change our perception of the One whom we have decided to follow. Jesus has revealed to us the heart his Father: a heart full of love and mercy. Our vocation emanates from that generous love.
We must understand and accept that the logic of our God is one which is free and not of efficacy. Therefore, cultivate your vocation in gratitude and freedom. The blind pursuit of success (another name for efficient) leaves no place for mercy to act in our lives. Sometimes the failure enables us to understand that we should not apply the principle of cause and effect to God. God is not obliged to reward us according to what we do or the way in which we live. God’s mercy is beyond justice. This is why God shouldn’t be prisoner of any ethical-moral tie. God is God! He is the God-the One who calls us to an adventure-Other: to love tenderly, to serve (because of our consecration) without conditions or interests. It is then, that we experience the true joy of the Gospel, and not in the successes or ambitions. Since, in the vocational journey, God is above our calculations and strategies.
We are therefore invited to re-situate our vocation, in a permanent way, within the mystique of eagerness. When we have entered into this other dimension of vocational transformation, we are able to confess like Job: “Lord, I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye see you” (Jb. 42:5).
Aristide F. MEDOU ESSOMBA, CMF