July 10, 2015

Serra Club vocations essay

Prayer, advice and service help in discerning one’s vocation

(Editor’s note: Following is the third in a series featuring the winners of the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2015 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

By Matt Zinser (Special to The Criterion)

Ryan Hollingsworth At the age of 14 and in the busy, noisy world, discerning a vocation can be a challenge. It’s easy to get caught up with phones, iPads, computers and the Internet.

As difficult as it may be, finding some quiet time to pray, think and reflect is crucial. Learning to pray on a daily basis is important for being able to hear God’s call.

In addition to individual prayer, worshiping every week with your parish is also necessary. Worshiping with a community of believers keeps you connected to your faith and provides support. All life decisions should be based on prayer.

Discerning a vocation is also done through listening to parents, teachers and coaches. These people can provide loving guidance, constructive criticism and discipline. They are people who care and are willing to help with all the things that teenagers face.

Parents will guide you in every aspect of your life because their love is unconditional. Teachers can notice strengths and help with important decisions, such as what college to attend. Coaches will make you work to the best of your ability and develop your own talents within the team. At times, it may seem as though they are being too tough, but it’s because they want the best. Through all these people in our lives, vocations can be determined.

God has placed different talents in everyone. Developing talents can lead to the vocation for which God created you. In my everyday living, just being aware of what I’m passionate about and finding Christ within those things is important. Sometimes the way to find out if you have a talent or are passionate about something is by stepping out of your comfort zone and being willing to try new things.

Finally, being of service to others will help you find who you really are and help discern a vocation. It’s often said that if you give of yourself, you receive more than you give.

Our lives don’t always make sense to us or the world. We must live our daily lives to prepare for the kingdom of God. Day-to-day living can be an adventure; you never know what will happen next.

My plan is to stay focused on God in my life through prayer, listening to others who love and want to help me, developing my talents and being of service to others. Through these things, my vocation and purpose will be found.

(Matt and his parents, John and Rosemary Zinser, live in Guilford. They are members of St. John the Baptist Parish in Harrison, Ohio in the Cincinnati Archdiocese. He completed the ninth grade at the Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Oldenburg last spring, and is the ninth-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2015 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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