When You Hear the Call. Lessons on the Life Path Journey.
When You Hear the Call,
Will You Have the Courage and Faith to Follow,
and then Stay the Course?
Okay, it’s a Sunday, and I am ready to Testify. You see, this topic of hearing the call, is not just some random thought, or inspired conversation I want to have with you today. No, I am coming to you, backed up with real world, real life experiences, brimful of authenticity. Everything I share on these pages, I have lived.
The topic of hearing the call hits very close to home to me. Seven years ago, in 2005, I got the call. Well actually, this was the second call, but we’ll discuss that call in detail next week. This time, there were no bells and whistles, or deep visions to it. I finally opened myself to spirit again, and I knew that this would be my last year working with children and teachers in the capacity of an elementary school teacher. My life was heading in a new direction, filled with expansion, increased spirituality, and self-employment.
Now everyone has a different and unique experience when they are called. Some find it to be like an awakening which inclines them toward religion, while others may experience it as a spiritual re-birthing. Then there are the others who are called in a more drastic, head spinning, irrational and unexpected upheaval. Welcome Uranus and Pluto aspecting your natal planets. Whichever way you are called, know that there are some common features – the greatest of them being the need for sacrifice. I know all about this topic, because this was not my first time at the rodeo responding to the call. No one is immune to receiving the call, it just depends on whether you are listening.
The Calling: Destiny Awaits – And You Have Choices.
So what does it really mean to be called? And who’s doing the calling? Well, that just depends on your perspective. Not religious? Perhaps it’s just a crisis of conscience pulling on you, a natural disaster heading your way, or a brush with death that makes you re-consider your life decisions. Astrologically savvy? Well look no further than a Saturn Return, not just once but twice, to awaken the call within to be your best self ever. Getting fired from your job, losing your house, getting evicted – these things count toward making you lay down all pretense and humbly submit to a higher calling to find your passion and live more authentically.
Bible got your back? Then look no further than that particular sermon, or bible scripture, that opens your mind and awakens you to the call of Jesus. You know, that one verse that you’ve heard over and over again that just snaps you into focus, and you finally get what the pastor’s been trying to say to you all of these years. On the yoga, meditation, new age track? A couple “awakening the third eye” meditations, or sessions with a power crystal, can blow your mind with the concept of becoming one with the universe. Regardless of which of these brought you to a new realization, one common thread between them all is an outpouring of emotion when it occurs.
How did I get the first call? I was in college and had been searching for the “right” religion. I had been raised Episcopalian and was disillusioned with the monthly “big chapel” services, opened with the standard organist rendition of “Onward Christian Soldiers.” I even took history of religion courses at UCLA, hoping to discover some new breakthrough. I learned a lot from the courses, but nothing pulled me one way or the other. No, what got me was one little sentence and it triggered a flood of tears that surprised and awakened something within me. The entire phrase is no longer in my memory box, but these two words were: “Archangel Michael.”
What did this mean, this Archangel Michael connection that revealed a knowledge so deep that I SOBBED for over five minutes? Reading this most powerful angels name was so odd, because I had never even heard of angels before other than “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Some how, this Angel had meaning for me. But it would be over 6 years before I took action to find out more.
You see, the first time I was called it was to follow in the footsteps of the infamous Jehovah’s Witness. Those two little words, Archangel Michael, were found in the first pages of ”You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth.” Though it took a failed relationship, and a personal visit to my home from the Witnesses to move on that first revelation, I finally committed to my life path. I was going to do life changing work, and I dumped “my man” for God. I’ll never forget his confusion when he asked me, “So you’re dumping me for the Jehovah’s?” He was incredulous. Why would anyone leave a “good” man to go with God? Hmm, because “the man” was not so “good” and I wanted better.
So yes, that was me, walking through the neighborhoods each weekend, preaching and teaching about God’s Kingdom. Now, if you want to talk about a very disliked religion, the Witness are certainly it. People slamming doors in your face really builds character. But, if we are to “walk the talk” of Jesus, becoming one of his apostles, then the 6:00 am proselytizing, thrice weekly Bible meetings, and the weekly door to door calls are all part of the plan. Oh, and don’t forget Theocratic school and Saturday meeting – there are questions and scriptures to look up with every paragraph. Just check out a WatchTower and see for yourself. Becoming a Jehovah’s Witness, and an authentic one, is no joke. It took me 9 months to read the required books and pass the “test” before I was allowed to get baptized – a full immersion in a pool of water right in the middle of Dodger’s Stadium. My new friends were so happy, and things were great for a while.
The Call – Levels of Engagement. Just How Far Are You Willing to Go?
Of course I was called during my 20′s. I was living life in two “kingdoms” – God’s world at night and on the weekends, and Man’s world during the day as an elementary school teacher. I enjoyed being the congregation’s “rising star” and was offered to give presentations at several events. (Verbal skills are crucial to gain recruits, and I was packing a few skills up my sleeve.) But then, like all callings, the “TEST” arrived. It had been a few years, and I realized I wasn’t meeting any eligible gentlemen in my small group. My closest friends did try to move me forward with a “handpicked by the elders” young man, who was raised in “The Truth” but I wasn’t going for it. And then, there HE was. The Tempter. The requisite “Bad Boy” of the congregation who I was warned to avoid.
What’s a girl to do? So let’s check the record. In my mid – late 20′s living a celibate life for over three years – Check. Bad Boy who’s up to no good, with a secret red cape and horned staff. Check. Clearly stated and in no uncertain terms warnings from the long time servants of the flock of the dire consequences should I proceed. Check. For a “good girl” with 13 years of religious school under her belt, and a love for God, this should be a no-brainer. BUT…the “Bad Boy” was NOT THE REAL TEST. He was only the way out.
I had just about everything I wanted as a Witness for God. Some of the closest friends I had ever met, a wonderful full-time job working with children in a creative capacity, a great crew of teacher friends, and my calling to work with God. Except, that I was being pushed to sacrifice TWO of the three things I loved. This test was a check of the heart to see how far I was really willing to go to follow God. First, my nearest and dearest friend received great news. Her husband was moved to another congregation where he would have more responsibilities shepherding the flock, and she asked me to leave my “home” flock and go with her. That meant I would lose ALL of the friends I had there just to follow her. I chose not to go, but when she was gone, something in me left too. She was my anchor in “the Truth” and my strongest ally for staying true to the path. ”HEART” attack Test #1. Results: Just squeaked by.
For the prior 6 months, the seasoned “sisters” of the congregation had been urging myself and my friends to give more time to witnessing each week. It’s called the Pioneer program and my friends and I challenged ourselves to start at the auxiliary level. That level asks for a commitment of 30 hours a week, going door to door, or just being active out in the “Field.” Out of all of my friends, I was the only one with a full-time job, located over 25 miles, and a 55 minute drive away from home in heavily packed traffic one way.
Doing this was a hardship, and I don’t know that I ever really met my pioneering goals each month. But it was nothing compared to the call to make the ultimate sacrifice – give up my full-time job to work part-time so that I could become a full-time pioneer. That meant giving about 60 hours a month to “field service” work and a very significant reduction in shopping.
I would like to say that it was my love for the children that kept me from jumping on the bandwagon of the Pioneer trail. But the real answer was stubbornness, and a true lack of humility. I just didn’t want to be poor like that. The sacrifice was too much, and I just wasn’t going out like that. “HEART” ATTACK TEST #2 : Living on life support systems.
Enter Bad Boy and the way out. “HEART” attack Test #3. Complete and systematic failure. Six months later, my life with the Witnesses was over, and I accepted being disassociated from the congregation, with a new non-witness guy by my side. This guy brought sacrifice request #2 that I failed with flying colors as well. Humility and sacrifice was just not for me. It would be over 10 years before I was “tried” again. And that time, was definitely different.
The Call : Checking In.
Now for those that are astrologically inclined, you might be recalling your first Saturn Return as you read these events. Just think about a time in your life when Saturn began asking for blood – oops – I mean penance – uh, well maybe just a willingness to undergo a little physical hardship to make you a better person. Or maybe, for those who live -life- like- this- is- all- there- is, you experienced a natural disaster or brush with death and came out of the experience a bit shaken, but no real harm done. You know, it was just another day on planet earth.
And for those on the spiritual path, perhaps your spiritual guru was not so “spiritual” and you began to notice some irregularities in behavior, and that’s when the judgment began – with the realization that they too are only human too. Or, perhaps you realized that though you go to those spiritual seminars and retreats, that you were there only for the food and friendships and the invitations to do more freaked you out. Whatever your event, did you stay the course? How far were you willing to go to get what you wanted?
Next week, look for Part II of my journey as I continue the march towards purpose, and honor the Second Saturn return.
May your week be anchored in love and acceptance of the blessings of an abundant universe. Kimberly Anne.