Several days ago I read something that St. Therese of Lisieux wrote in her autobiography that didn’t fully register with me at the time I read it. I woke up at 4:30 this morning and found myself lying in bed thinking about what she wrote, and it was as if a huge thunderbolt had struck me.
St. Therese likened the world to “God’s garden of living souls.” The same God who created roses and lilies also created little flowers, such as the violet or daisy. She likened the roses and lilies to the “great saints” whom God is pleased to create from time to time for the glory of His Son. But not all of us are called to be “roses and lilies.” Many of us are simply called to be “little flowers,” who must learn to be content with this calling, “nestling at God’s feet to delight His eyes whenever He should choose to look at us.” But whether He makes us a rose or a daisy, we’ve all been created to glorify Him in our own little way and to bring pleasure to Him.
For the past 25 years, I’ve been waiting for “the Big Time” to happen. It was always my desire to move overseas and to serve the Lord as a missionary. My husband put in for hundreds of jobs overseas so that we could move, but every single door slammed shut time after time. Since I was in my mid-twenties, I have been waiting for God to “open the door” for us to leave the United States so that I could fulfill what I was convinced was my “true purpose” in life. As the years passed by, and more doors kept slamming in our faces, I became more and more unhappy and tense. What was God waiting for? I’m going to be 50 years old this October, and my husband is 57 years old. Hello, God? Are you there?
When I woke up this morning at 4:30 A.M., it dawned on me that there never will be an “open door” for me to serve as a missionary overseas, for it was never God’s call upon my life in the first place. To serve as a missionary was my dream, not His. His will has always been for me to bloom right where He has planted me, and where He has planted me is at His feet, for His pleasure - not overseas, for man.
St. Therese’s words were used by God to teach me that God’s first calling upon our lives is to bring pleasure to Him. This is the true calling of every soul. But often we lose sight of this calling in our quest to pursue what we think is our main calling, i.e., to be a priest, nun, deacon, missionary, writer, etc.
God has created me for Himself. He has not created me to do great exploits for Him – those tasks have been assigned to others. For 25 years I’ve been waiting to “receive my assignment” and to be sent to my post, wondering why no orders were coming. I’ve been waiting for a ship to come in to take me to the harbor of God’s will for my life, never realizing that I’ve been in the harbor all along.
If I can touch the lives of a few through the simple articles that I bang out on my keyboard for the Master’s glory, this is well and good. But that is not the purpose for which I was created. I was created by God and for God. I was created to bring pleasure to Him whenever He chooses to look at me, just as St. Therese of Lisieux taught. We are not created primarily for works of service, but for a relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is this call that we must focus on fulfilling in our lives,
…for it is this call that matters most to God.
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