I’ve been re-experiencing the Harry Potter series with my children and just this weekend we were watching the first movie together. As my 9-year old daughter and I snuggled on the couch and watched Harry put on the sorting hat, I whispered to her, “This is one of my favorite moments in the entire series.” After the hat proclaims, “Gryffindor!” Lauren turns to me and says, “I know what that’s your favorite. It’s because he chooses. It’s because we always have a choice.”
That’s the thing about a calling. Even when we have opened ourselves to one, even when we have heard the whisper or the roar, there is still choice. Do we take up the journey, knowing it will inevitably have barriers? Do we persevere knowing rewards or validation may be hidden for great lengths? Do we, as William Anderson says, have the courage to “love these kids to life?”
People often ask me when I knew I wanted to be a teacher, wondering where that calling showed up for me. I always say it was more of a realization of something I must have always known. Whether you’re prone to epiphany or clarity, callings or realizations, knowing yourself means learning for others.