As humans we have a natural desire to identify and express our life's plans. Some call it a mission, call, or vision. Another term is vocation. The Bible gives meaning to this word.
All human beings have a vocation. It is not something we choose. It comes from deep within ourselves. It is the potential a person owns, just as the acorn owns the potential to be an oak tree.
A vocation is what we are called to accomplish. It is the Holy Spirit in us making the acorn explode to give birth. Vocations exist in many fields, but all who are touched by the Holy Spirit have a vocation symbolized by the fire that lights in us when the Holy Spirit touches our hearts.
Vocation symbolized by the flame
Vocation is a source of light. When we live our vocation, we become a source of light. Throughout the ages, light has been a synonym for truth, wisdom, and knowledge. When we follow our vocations, we are living our inner truths and not trying to live someone else's truth. Matthew 5:15 tells us to let our lights shine, not hide them under bushels.
Many times light is symbolized by a flame. The flame symbolizes warmth. Since we are owners of this flame, we should be warm and passionate people. We should create an atmosphere of comfort, acceptance, and well-being in those around us.
Bernard Shaw used to say, "When I die, I want to be totally consumed. ... Life for me isn't a small candle; it's a splendid torch that I'll have handled for a while, and I want it to burn with as much brightness as possible before passing it on to future generations."
Jesus Christ is our great example. His mission was to save lost humanity. His life was consumed with His vocation.
There are many examples of those who followed their vocations. Through their visions, Moses, Gandhi, Marie Curie, Ellen White, and Martin Luther King were all power-filled. What about you? Do you have a vocation? Is it your vocation to be a mother, teacher, elder, deaconess, minister? You can be the light of your family, friends, church, and community.
Everyone, both male and female, has a vocation. I believe men and women differ in their response to their vocations. Man, by nature, deals with relationships in an intellectual, objective way. He is more rational, drawn by economy, sciences, industry, technical topics, computers, etc. He takes pleasure in abstract matters. Being the only ruler for centuries, he has built an impersonal civilization, an anonymous and functional world, a world of things and ideas.
The woman has "heart intuition." Jesus, throughout His ministry, regarded women as complete beings. He acknowledged women as recognized spokespersons, trustworthy to receive His confidences. He spoke to women as He spoke to men. He gave them respect. He had high expectations for them. The promises He made were for both genders.
It is interesting to see how the genders responded to Jesus. When the disciples were with Jesus, they often questioned Him. They wanted to know who was going to be the first among them. During their last discussion when they were having the Last Supper, they were arguing for power. Even though they were with Jesus, they didn't understand Him. They understood Jesus in the "male" way—objectively.
Now consider Mary. When Jesus was at Simon's house, Mary carried an alabaster vase containing pure perfume of great value. She broke the vase and spread the perfume on Jesus' feet. Then she kissed them. She was grateful for the forgiveness she had received from Jesus. Through her intuition, she understood Jesus very well. She was imbued with His words, and she caught the mystery of Jesus no language can define.
Both men and women receive the spiritual flame, but the way they live and express it are very different. Unfortunately, we live in a society where women are often excluded from certain functions. They have no status, no religious role, and they are relegated to the role of the follower.
This should change. Men and women were created to complement one another. Both have vocations that glorify God. Thirty years of ministry has taught me that when men and women are given the chance to collaborate on a deeper level and form a spiritual unity with Christ, great things can happen. Light can shine and God's glory can be spread throughout the world.