Finding the Intersection of Calling

Image Description: A busy street intersection with crosswalks, street lights, buildings, and pedestrians.

I find Frederick Buechner to be an especially quotable author. He just has so many good things to say, and over the years, I’ve passed on a lot of his words to people. In particular, I’ve shared this quote with a lot of college students who are doing vocational discernment:

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

This is a statement that is helpful to college students and young adults who are pondering vocation and calling. But also, whatever our age, we’re continually discerning these things all the time. Perhaps this framing is particularly important in this moment we’re living, this consideration of where deep gladness and deep need meet.

The needs and injustices around us are enormous, and we may be grappling with seeing them in new ways, or even for the first time. Immigration… Hunger… Police brutality… Voter suppression… Environmental devastation… Late-stage capitalism… Racism… Sexism… Transphobia… And now, COVID-19…

This is a good time to ask questions like,

What is my best skill, gift, or calling?
How am I using that for a sense of the common good?
How might I do that?

We need everyone using their best skills, gifts, and callings in the direction of these large, systemic challenges.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Where might that intersection be for you?
What could it look like in practice?
Is there anything we need to clear out of the way to actually do it?

Renee Roederer

This quote from Frederick Buechner comes originally from his book Wishful Thinking.

3 thoughts on “Finding the Intersection of Calling

  1. Some time ago, the United Methodist Church published a paper on the Call. Which defined a call as a place “where skill meets need.”

    I still find that definition useful.


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