Jed de los Reyes, Youth Speak News

Vocations are given to us when the time is right

By  Jed de los Reyes, Youth Speak News
  • February 15, 2012

My Catholic life really began at age 13, shortly before high school, during an inspiring talk at a youth camp. I learned a new word: Vocation, a noun: the specific calling unique to every individual.

Seven months after my high school graduation, I was exploring the library when I saw an old friend from elementary school. Over the last few years, he volunteered in a few camps, started handing out hosts during Communion and survived high school, along with the journeys of self-discovery that come with it.

The topic soon shifted to the “good old days.” With good report cards and a reputation for being quiet and easy to handle, I was usually the teacher’s favourite. This friend of mine, however, was the kid who got his electronic toys confiscated and who endured a yell for every whisper.

I had no idea back then that he wanted to be an accountant.

Even more surprising was that he’s now more skilled in French than math.

He now wants to become a French teacher because he overcame many problems at school and wants to help future generations to do the same. And he can look back on his experiences at the bottom of the favouritism pyramid for guidance on what not to do. He described it as his calling. A vocation.

God had a different calling from what my friend originally had in mind. There might still be more to come, as he’s considering the Holy Orders.

It was a lot for both of us to take in. He didn’t know that I was studying French, so my own ambitions to become a French teacher were just as surprising for him as they were for me. He thought I would become a doctor. 

Just a few weeks ago at Church, my parish priest talked about how Simon was brought to Jesus and was — from then on — regarded as Peter. He was still a fisherman, yet no longer the fisherman he used to be. Peter was, in essence, the same man that Simon was, yet Jesus gave him a purpose that made all the difference.

Neither our family nor our friends realized what dreams we would pursue. The Book of Wisdom says: “For who can learn the counsel of God? Or who can discern what the Lord wills?” (Wis 9:13).

I expected to suddenly wake up and realize that we were still in elementary school; there was no way that we were able to get this far. After saying our good-byes, I realized that this shouldn’t be a surprise. Our vocations don’t depend on anyone, not even ourselves. Vocations aren’t concerned with our pasts or how many people liked us. Vocations are carefully hand-made by God and are given to us when the time is right.

It was nice to see that we were both doing well. Of course we were; the two of us discovered our vocations.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.