God's Time

With food and beautiful weather, young adults and religious alike enjoyed the casual backyard BBQ atmosphere of Mix and Mingle, an opportunity for young adults to chat with members of various orders about the order’s work and their charism.

The unspoken theme that seemed to emerge from the event was ‘God’s time’. During the first reading at Sunday mass, from the prophet Isaiah, talked about how God’s ways are not human ways, but His plans will still come to pass (Isaiah 55:8-11). During the homily, Father Damian MacPherson of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement shared how true that was in discerning his own vocation.

This theme really hit home in a personal way during the small group discussions. Bishop Gerard Pettipas, a missionary bishop in the Grouard-McLennan Archdiocese, Alberta. He shared a story from his time in the seminary, about how he compared his faith journey to others around him. He concluded by saying: ‘it’s about me. It’s not about the others entering or leaving the seminary.’ By this he meant that discerning a vocation may be done with a community, but ultimately, it is a matter between you and God. God extends the invitation to you, whether that’s a vocation to religious life, ordination, single life, or married life, and you choose to either accept or decline the invitation.

This reminder was a relief for me. As a young adult, about to finish my second university degree, I am left asking big questions about future directions. Where am I being called – job-wise and vocationally? I am tempted to compare my journey to the young adults around me, those who seem sure that are called to a particular religious order, or to married life. But in these moments of worry and fear, I need to remember, God’s ways are not my ways; God will extend an invitation to me in God’s time and in God’s way. I also need to remember that this journey is about God and I, I don’t need to compare my journey to anyone else’s journey.

— Lauren Van Vliet