I admit to navigating Facebook into the crazy quizzes to find out where I might be from or what color describes me or what kind of friend I might be. I am usually amused by the findings and I never share the results. But this particular quiz caught my eye: “What is your True Calling?”
I started answering the goofy questions by choosing the responses as close to possible to how I would really answer the questions. My true answer was never available, and I was sure the conclusion would be the same as the calling of many of my friends: a philosopher. While I knew my true calling could never be a philosopher, I waited for the calculating to be done. Imagine my surprise when I was told that my true calling was . . . a Stand- Up Comedienne. I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair when I read it. It was not my calling or any sort of reality. The idea was ridiculous, right?
But then I got to thinking. I do stand up a lot at my work, and I do talk to people a lot. I don’t tell jokes, but I do want those whom I encounter to feel welcomed and safe and encouraged.
That is why I have a stool in my desk area, in the middle of a college bookstore, where I can let students sit and we talk. Sometimes it’s a place of quiet, as student workers need a place to rest. Sometimes it’s a place of sharing how the day is going. Sometimes it’s a place where the Kleenex becomes a part of our time together. Sometimes the students hold the teddy bear that always sits on my stool. And, occasionally, I’ll ask a student or co-worker to sit in my chair so that I can sit on the stool and talk to them.
My job is about books in a college bookstore, but my calling is to be a stand-up person who is authentic with and caring for all of those I encounter every day. be that student, co-worker or fellow staff and faculty. I recently have become the oldest employee in my place of work, and I now feel the added calling of being the team encourager in the midst of such transition and uncertainty.
That is what I have been called by God to do, daily, with everyone: listen and encourage and hug and love. And during these times, if I happen to make someone laugh, it’s a bonus!
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