Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's Not Too Late To Live Your True Calling

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 - 4:00pm
Matter of Taste Coffee Bar - Kitchener, Ontario
Soundtrack: Shania Twain's Greatest Hits

A few Sundays ago, an older gentleman - one of the foundations of my Unitarian  congregation - came up to me at coffee hour after church. I was having a particularly shitty day, feeling quite depressed. But he came up to me and said "Mark, do you know what I see when I look at you? A minister." His encouraging words automatically lifted my sullen spirits; it's amazing what just a few words will do at the right time.

A few minutes ago my friend Alison and I were having coffee and I mentioned that I can see myself going to seminary one day. This comes after having attended her graduation from the Masters program there this past Friday.

I've sort of wandered for, oh, a decade when it comes to a career. I attended Bible college when I was 19 - which seems like a lifetime ago (I'm almost 35 now) - but left without completing when my religious beliefs radically shifted. Then I immersed myself in my job and reading and writing at coffee shops. It worked for awhile, but then I became very dissatisfied. Add to that problems with depression and anxiety and eventually self-medicating myself with alcohol, and years went by very quickly. I am often very thankful that I am still only 35 years old.

I believe that it is very important that we do what we are passionate about. So many of us get stuck - or become resigned to - jobs that we don't like just so that we can pay the bills. Meanwhile we're dying inside little by little.

Maybe you're in this position. Perhaps it's been for a year or two, maybe it's been for twenty years.

It's never too late to do what you are passionate about. Perhaps that means a change in occupation, or perhaps not. Perhaps it means pursuing an activity or volunteerism on the side. Something that makes you come alive. Is there a poet, a singer, a dancer inside of you?

As for me, a few Sundays ago wasn't the first time that someone told me they saw a minister in me; I used to hear it all the time when I was just a boy growing up. I have a feeling that one day that very well may come true - that or chaplaincy.

Maybe it's time to start looking at finishing a Bachelors degree. Stay tuned!

Mark Andrew Nouwen