Called to Be – Dr Karen Walker
Parker Palmer is a Quaker and a teacher whose writings I have enjoyed and in which I have found a rich seam of thought over many years. Parker describes the ‘heart of the teacher’ in a way that resonates with something deep within me, it speaks in ways that are beyond words. Describing vocation he writes it is
not … a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received…Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfil the original selfhood given me at birth by God .
Parker talks about the hard work involved in accepting the “birthright gift of self” and the hard work involved living out our God given vocation. Vocation and ministry are the same coin just different sides, and as I am able to embrace my vocation I am able to minister out of who I have been called to be.
A puzzle we all face at different times is what shape or form is our individual vocation, our giftings, our calling?
Parker narrates a Hasidic tale whereby Rabbi Zusya as an old man says “In the coming world they will not ask me: “Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me:’ Why were you not Zusya?”  The tale encourages us to avoid being someone we are not made to be and to persevere in becoming who we am created to be. That ‘becoming’ includes exercising and growing in the gifts we each have been given so that we may answer in the coming world “ I was (your name)” rather than someone else whom I might deeply admire and seek to emulate.
Parker Palmer 2000 Let your life speak. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 11