God won’t move a ‘parked car.’ Father Brett Brannen of the Diocese of Savannah wrote a very popular book on priestly discernment called To Save a Thousand Souls. In the book, he encourages all young people to move toward their vocation in life. He writes that “God won’t move a parked car,” meaning that the Lord honors our freedom, and if we are not willing to start seriously discerning our vocation, then he won’t force us into a decision. The longer we wait, however, the more we deprive ourselves of the grace that God gives to those who have courageously chosen a vocation. It is important to remember that the church calls us to give ourselves fully to a vocation, a call to another, at some stage of our life. This call includes a lifelong commitment that we make solemnly before the Lord and His church. This call can be to marriage, or the priesthood/consecrated life.
It has become popular to delay making a choice on a vocation until we are a little more ‘mature,’ but it is important to remember that maturity does not magically happen just because we get older. I know some folks who are in their early 20s who are way more mature than I was at that age, and while they don’t have ‘life experience,’ they do have a real direction in their life. Faith Formation is more important than life-experience, and when young people are formed in a strong life of faith in their families and parishes from a young age, they are able to move toward life-long vocational commitments faster, and this is a good thing!
On the other hand, some people who delay making vocational commitments in the name of getting more life experience risk stunting their formation even more because they don’t progress in maturity, but only in age, and the extra time they give themselves is spent de-forming their consciences rather than preparing them for the lifelong sacrificial love that our vocation demands.
God won’t move ‘a parked car.’ He won’t force us to grow in our life with him. If we don’t have a solid life of prayer and participate in the sacraments, then we risk missing out on the vocation that the Lord has called us to. Please encourage the young people in your life to grow in maturity. Challenge them to live virtuously and help them to understand that God will help them when they ask for it. All young people should be praying to know their vocation – praying to know who they are called to give their life for. When we move toward the Lord and we ask Him to help us, we will be challenged to do things we never would have chosen ourselves, and yet we become fully alive because God gives us the grace to do things we never would have been capable of otherwise.
Father Nick Adam
For more info on vocations email: email@example.com.
Save the date:
Homegrown Harvest – Saturday, Oct. 21
If you want to bring together good men and women from Mississippi and encourage them to seek the will of God in their life, consider being a sponsor or buying tickets for this event. You can register by visiting bit.ly/HGHarvest2023. Remember Burse Club members receive a free ticket!