Life wakes up slowly—one-eye-at-a-time, rollover, and pull the covers back up over your head slowly—on a Sunday morning in a college town. Life wakes up very slowly on a summer Sunday in a town that’s just starting to come out of its two-month pandemic isolation.
My wife and I have driven here on this Sunday morning in June to visit our son on the campus from which I graduated more than 40 years ago. After a good, albeit short visit, we’re driving through the center of campus. It’s normally blocked off to vehicle traffic with thousands of students and teachers scurrying to classes. Today, we see only two people: a young man, dressed in his graduation cap and gown, smiling broadly and holding his diploma posing alongside the statue of the school mascot; and his father, who is capturing the moment on his camera.
Moments later, we’re on the highway, headed on our 90-minute journey home. My wife is asleep in the passenger seat and I’m driving. In the solitude, my mind wanders back to the young man, who clearly had “graduated” weeks before though the pandemic redefined his graduation moment.
What must it be like to be graduating now, in this climate?
I wonder if he will be able to follow the calling that he pursued during his college education, or if the pandemic has changed all that for him?
How frightening it must be for him and the thousands of others, to have found that calling, only to have it circumstances change your life so dramatically.
Definitely older and presumably wiser, I found myself speaking to the young man, offering him some unsolicited solace and advice, drawn from my almost six decades of life and experience, and from Callings for Life. I found myself wanting to say:
Son, you do not have just one calling, or one chance to decide once and for all what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. Life is made of many callings, big and small, work and non-work. You may have callings for an individual day, or you may have callings for a lifetime. Roll with it.Callings are not only for the young. Forty years after I stood in the same spot, taking the same graduation photo, I still listen for what God calls me to do in my life, for my job and colleagues, for my children and family, for my friends, for my church.God knows his plan and your purpose, for the rest of your life. Pray, listen, and follow.
A Prayer for Help on Life's Journey
Blessed are all Your saints, O God and King, who have traveled over the tempestuous sea of this mortal life, and have made the harbor of peace and happiness. Watch over us who are still in our dangerous voyage, and remember such as lie exposed to the rough storms of trouble and temptations. Frail is our vessel, and the ocean is wide; but as in Your mercy You have set our course, so steer the vessel of our life toward the everlasting shore of peace. Bring us at length to the quiet haven of our heart’s desire, where You, O our God, are blessed, and live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer taken from Callings for Life copyright © 2020 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Transitions surrounding careers, graduation, or life stages have become increasingly difficult following the pandemic, but God is still calling you. See what He has in store for you in Callings for Life.