I have been wondering how easy is it to say like Isaiah “Here am I, send me!”
There are people throughout known history who appear to have suddenly turned their backs on the secular world (some of them quite well-to-do), with something like “I am done with this s**t” and promptly lived a devoted/spartan life as a monk in a monastery or in some similar setting. It couldn’t have been very easy, yet (with God’s help?) they pulled it off.
I once met a young Catholic priest who had just graduated from the University and was going to take up his first posting at some church somewhere on the outskirts of Abuja I think. We got talking and I asked him how he came to be a priest and he told me he just knew early on that it was his calling. I guess nothing beats that level of assurance and conviction of ones purpose in life.
I have sometimes wondered that if indeed we believe that Christ’s coming is imminent (though we also know this may be now, 1000seconds or 1000years), may it not be a good idea to ditch “it” all, along with all its worries, strife, and pursuit of (worldly) happiness, and just go live the devoted life of a monk somewhere?
Can one enter a convent or seminary on a trial basis? I know this was possible (especially with monasteries) earlier on but does the same still apply? I need to find out. (This does not of course apply to the married people, who are automatically “excused”, who have a duty – after loving God first – to their families.)
There are of course several pertinent questions:
– has one been called (but does it really matter? Can’t one just “decide”?)
– is it an “escape” from the world and all its troubles (but why not?)
– are there more reasonable or practical alternatives (what is the definition of these terms and from whose perspective?)
– is it in line with God’s word (I dare say it’s not against it. After all Paul wasn’t married and didn’t procreate and Jesus telling the rich young man to sell his wordly goods, and follow him carries the slightest hint that if the man wasn’t already married, he himself may find it expedient not to do so had he elected to follow the master)
– and many more questions
Answering these questions satisfactorily is probably the difficult part: the 800pound Gorilla blocking the way. But once overcome, who knows, maybe one might just say: “Here am I, send me!”
Reference: Isaiah 6:8