Suzy and I watched a PBS movie last night. One of the characters left his wife of 10 years to join a monastery. He believed he had been called. The wife was understandably upset. The plot caused me to think about your question, “In our quest to understand and follow God’s call, should we withdraw from life or attempt to master it?”
If we withdraw, we don’t get caught up in life’s superficiality and obsession with staying busy. Yet, we miss the opportunity to complete ourselves through experiencing life fully; therefore, I believe very few of us are truly called to be monks. However, there is a caution in living a life fully engaged. We must not get lost in the outer details and forget about discovering who we really are.
In discovering who we are, we begin by centering our thoughts on the heart of God. It relaxes the grasp of everyday demands and perceived needs. The world manipulates us to its ends, and we must be diligent in tuning out its siren call as we search. When we focus on the heart of God, we are insulated from superficial noise. We are free to search in radiant silence for who we are. The greatest learning and knowing is knowledge of self. And as it is said, “ whosoever knows himself, knows God.”