Counseling Those To Their Vocation: Jonah
Many flee their calling from God. It is hard to help counsel them in the right direction because they are overcome with fear. In previous blogs, we looked at the faith of Peter to walk on water as he followed Christ. Peter was filled with faith and wished to follow our Lord without fear. Only when he took his eyes off his Lord, did he begin to fall, but only to be gently lifted by the hand of Christ. Peter teaches us that we must follow Christ and accept our vocation. Fear should not be an obstacle.
Yet, many still flee their vocation, much like Jonah. Jonah is an excellent example of one who is afraid to undertake his divine calling. Instead of preaching to Nineveh, Jonah fled in fear of what might happen if he entered into that city. He did not have faith in God, as Peter did, to face his fears. In his fear, he fled the Lord, but the will of God was strong and in his running, he was swallowed by a great fish and held for three days. Only till he relinquished his own will, did the Lord release him to carry out his vocation of preaching to Ninevah.
How many times do we flee our vocation because of fear? Where do we flee? We will probably not be swallowed by a great fish, but what “great fish” is preventing us from carrying out God’s will? If we choose to live our own will over the Lord, we may not be imprisoned by a great fish but we will be imprisoned in a life of unhappiness. Only fulfillment of one’s vocation can give true happiness.
So let us all escape our “great fish” and face our own “Nineveh” with faith and no fear.
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Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C