Courage. Trust. Gratitude. But, we say, what if I am really little? Not capable of much? All the more reason to have courage, be trusting, and be grateful! In the story of Gideon, which we have been reflecting on, the 300 soldiers went out to meet the enemy as the Lord commanded. They went with only jars and horns instead of weapons of war. They were outnumbered significantly, deliberately chosen by God. Still, they went forward in peace. They were confident in victory because they trusted in the promise and the presence of the Lord. They banged their jars, hollered, and blew their horns… the enemy became terrified at the presumed massive army and fled. Their own littleness had become a door to open their eyes to the Glory and Mercy of God. Their trust and courage had enabled them to be victorious!
When we are living our vocation we may become out and out discouraged. We don’t seem up to the “job,” able to answer the call, or we just don’t seem to be making progress or impact. We throw down our horns in desperation and sit silently on our jars. It all seems so pointless or impossible.
But, as with Gideon and his men, the Lord allows us to be little precisely so that we might do great things. No matter our limitations, if we are doing the will of God, his strength is our power. He may ask a small person to do great things, or a very talented and strong person to do very small, menial things. How many brilliant men and women live their lives behind a cloister wall? How many “disadvantaged” persons have become world famous motivational speakers, leaders of companies and countries? How many mothers, doctors, teachers, civil servants, etc. live their day to day not doing “great” things, but ordinary things? Moms drive carpools, doctors take temperatures, teachers teach arithmetic, and civil servants help little, old ladies who are more lonely than sick.
Strength lies not in the action, but in the will of God. Impact lies not in who you encounter, but how you reach out to them. Living your vocation is not being fearless, but having courage. It does not require you to be skilled and educated, but demands that we trust in the power and goodness of the Lord. If we live every moment as a gift from God and joyfully return to him as best we can, our vocations are fruitful. Simply put, to summarize the last three days, we live our vocation for God, with God, and in God to his greatest glory!