Vocation as Wholeness
Vocation as Wholeness is the sixth session from A Calling to the Beloved, a 7 film series on entering a life of vocation. Also the second collection from our new "Poieō Series: Liturgy That Shapes and Transforms." (The word poieō in Greek means “to make” and “to do.” This is where we get the word “poem.” Poetry comes through the creative process that we put into our lives, our relationships, our most intimate connections. This series is a collection to stir our deep longing to set our lives into the rhythm and meter of an eternal song).
If vocation is becoming who we were intended to be, we must ask the question: What makes up the whole person? Canadian novelist, William Paul Young, shares that we must look at persons holistically and not broken into parts. This is the only way that we can see our calling as humans made in the way God intended.
Questions for Reflection
- Young starts by talking about how “the outermost and the outer [person] has to be healed, not broken in a sense that they have to be broken. That’s just gnostic…the spirit is just what really matters here.” Young is talking about an early philosophical movement, called Gnosticism that believed in secret knowledge as the means of obtaining salvation. They perceived the body was corruptible and the spirit, conversely, incorruptible, and therefore humans could find release from the body through knowledge, which was spiritual. Young observes that many Christians have adopted this tendency to divide body and spirit. What might be the dangers of Gnosticism? How has the church been influenced by this dualistic way of thinking?
- Young emphasizes that “your uniqueness as a human being actually matters, and everything that God is at work at, in terms of healing your soul, is for you to be free to be everything you are intended to be.” What is it that you are in need of healing that is preventing you from being free to be what you are intended to be? How might you receive the healing that you need?
- Young comments: “I’m really opposed to a dualism that magnifies the spirituality over against the secular, physical—that part of humanity. I think we were intended to be in a physical universe.” In what ways does our culture tend to divide mind and body, the spiritual from the physical? How might the church help to unite the spiritual and the physical?
- Young quotes 1 Peter 1:7 in a paraphrase: “You have a faith that is being tested by fire.” He then comments that “We live by the faith of the Son of God, not in” and “He is now come to dwell in us, or attach, or come put into union His faith with ours.” What might be the difference in living by “the faith of the Son of God” rather than by living in the faith?
- At the end of the video, Young completes the passage from 1 Peter: “And now you are receiving the goal, the telos, the object of this faith. You are receiving the goal, which is the healing of your soul.” The Greek word, telos, means point or goal. The image is that God directs all things towards a goal. What might it mean to receive this healing of the soul from God? How does this help us to become who we are meant to be?