A call evolves and is not static. I became restless, sometimes lethargic, as if my call to teach had its current disrupted. New longings escaped from my gut, sparks so foreign and unrecognizable that I tried to stamp them out.
I had thought that if only I was good enough and tried hard enough, my passion and work would be in harmony again. I hadn’t realized that success and excellence were outcomes of passion and labor united. Joy is not something manufactured with good intentions.
The new Athletic Director says he didn’t take the job despite knowing it would be uncomfortable. He took it because it would be. If somebody isn’t the first African-American athletic director, he asks, then how do you ever get the first African-American assistant principal? How do the students learn that it’s normal and appropriate for a black person to be in a position of authority?
As if overnight, our young adult children—one a recent college graduate, the other a college senior—are experiencing (or about to) the first real unscripted period of their lives, with no new semester beginning in the fall, no obvious path. How do we help them now? When is our help no longer help, but instead some mixed up excuse for still being in charge of their lives?
The Quaker term “as way opens” connotes faith—trusting that if you put one foot in front of the other and keep walking, way will open. Each of us has a path and there are many ways to wholeness or transformation. Working with the Alexander Technique has taught me about opening up and shutting down.
As a stay-at-home mom I have plenty to do. My days are fabulous and frantic and full of fatigue and yogurt. I am privileged to get so many hours with my girls. But I taste the pang of discontentment in my life nearly every day. Being a mom can’t possibly be my only calling.
Like many young women thinking about college in the late fifties, I was told that I could be a nurse, a secretary, or a teacher. By choosing to be a teacher I answered a question I only later knew to ask: What am I called to do to help heal a broken world?
When you’re at work, how often are you faced with choosing between doing right by yourself and playing it safe?
Molly Hicks has a unique day job. As a music therapist who works with hospice patients, she helps people live fully in the last months of their lives.