Of Keys, Boots, and Vocations
“It’s not that you’re perfect for your vocation; it’s more that your vocation is perfect for you.”
My good friend Megan told me that a few weeks ago. It took a lot of thinking on my part to really process the depth of what it meant. Thoughts were still rolling around in my mind when, last Sunday, I was an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. I’m working at The Pines Catholic Camp for the summer, and one of my favorite things here is the outdoor Mass that is offered every Sunday evening for the campers. Because Mass was outside, when there was a lot of the Blessed Sacrament left over, Father asked me to take it back to the Chapel. Another staff member and I had a mini Eucharistic procession to the Chapel, and I set Our Lord on the altar to grab the key to put Him inside the Tabernacle.
I hunted high and low in the Sacristy for that key! I saw a key right away by the extra candles that looked like a normal house key and tried that one first. It didn’t even fit into the keyhole. I searched around more, and then tried the first key again, to make sure I hadn’t just put it in upside down or something. Nope, it still didn’t fit, so I jogged back up to ask Father where the key was. Father said the top shelf, so I went back and looked there. Nothing. I jogged back a second time to ask the camp director where the key was. He told me a particular drawer to look in, so I checked there. There were a few drawers where he’d said, and in the first one, I found another house-key looking key, which, as with the first, did not fit. I checked the next drawer, and the next drawer. When I opened the last drawer, I was amazed. There, sitting, waiting for me, was THE key. I knew it was IT, the one I’d been searching for, before I even picked it up. It was old-fashioned-looking; the same metal as the Tabernacle, and had a chain tassel hanging from it. It was a perfect fit, and opened that Sacred Space with gracious ease.
A day later, I was telling the camp nurse about how I’d wound up at my school, and in the major I was in, and it was a similar story: I saw something good that I thought would work, tried it, and it just didn’t fit. When I found where I was meant to be, I just knew. It was a perfect fit, like that Tabernacle key.
Two weekends ago, I made a big investment: I bought a real pair of boots!
Take a look:
Aren’t they pretty?! I’m so proud of them, and wear them every chance I get.
My new boots got me thinking about boots in general, and how they are the footwear of choice for soldiers. They are sturdy, protect the feet well, and whenever I put my boots on, it makes me feel like I’m about to do something big. Ever heard that old soldier saying “I want to get caught with my boots on!”? (Meaning not caught in bed or relaxing, but when he was ready for it.) I got to thinking that I want my vocation to find me with my ‘boots’ on, working whole-heartedly in the vineyard where I was planted by the hand of God! I love the story of Isaac and Rebecca: Rebecca was just going about her daily duties, and was attentive to the needs around her. The generosity which poured from her heart made her a perfect fit for Isaac. She was caught with her boots on!
I’m excited to find my vocation someday. Like that key to the Tabernacle, I know I’ll know it when I see it. But in the meantime, I’m going to be like Rebecca and keep my boots on.