The Vocational Struggle

During my recent travels to Alaska, I found something in Eagle River which resonated with my youth. I was 18 when I finally felt my vocational calling, my purpose in life. I sought some counseling on this calling and was given bad advice, or maybe incomplete advice. That advice discouraged me for 15 years from pursuing my calling.

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In Eagle River there is a place called the St. James House. It is an intentional community which houses young adultsĀ from 18 to 25 years old. Every August, for the last 40 years, a number of college aged guys and gals gather together in this house for 10 months under the supervision of a host family. If I had known about the community I think I would have gone when I graduated, because after that bad advice I went to college without direction and ambition. I was floundering and attending college because I did not know what else to do.

If I had attended the St. James House back then, I would have been given something I needed, 10 months of vocational coaching. I think we forget how the world has expanded, and with that expansion has come the canyon of job choices. Even 50 years ago the choices were a microcosm compared to today. Combine the choices with bad advice and ill-prepared mentors and you get floundering young adults trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

About two years ago I started career counseling with a great friend of mine, Monte King. Monte is a professional counselor who had experience in career counseling. Through our ongoing conversations over the period of many months I was able to reconnect with my purpose in life, what I was put on this earth to do. That re-connection was discovered because of how much time and reverence I gave to the importance of my vocation. From that attention and preparation I found the ambition and focus I needed. As of last July I can now say I am the path. Oh how narrow it was and easy to miss.

The St. James House is not the only vocational help available, but it reminded me how important this is. Another friend of mine was struggling with his calling and spent a weekend in Atlanta doing aptitude tests. He is now enrolled in his first year of medical school. God wants us to be prepared for what will happen in our lives, and part of that preparation is getting professional help with our calling. It is not too late to reconnect with your purpose. I was 33, Colonel Sanders was retired, and you may be somewhere in between.

Question: Are you helping the next generation connect with their purpose?

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