Rev. Wayne Walder: Have You Been Called?

Wayne playing Native American wooden flute at ancient cave

by Reverend Wayne Walder

Twenty years ago, my “call” came through the telephone. I had been working in business for 15 years and I liked it. But it was not satisfying and I was a little sad. I was wondering what to do with the rest of my life. One evening the phone rang. It was a friend I had not seen in fifteen years.

“Wayne,” he said, “how would you like to be the preacher at our Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in Buffalo N.Y. in two weeks?” It was a call to ministry and I laughed out loud. The sermon went well and, although I felt good about offering it, I thought it was a fluke. The following week a stranger called asking me to preach in Niagara Falls at another UU church. Five years later, I was a UU minister.

I am suspicious of New Age ideas that promise we can get what we want from the universe. There are too many people who never receive what they need, let alone what they want. Yet our universe is a mysterious place. I believe it does respond to us in subtle ways. It responds to us because we are part of life. We are life. We are the interconnected web of all existence, as well as being single separate individuals. So life’s pattern often makes its presence felt in our collective and individual lives.

Maybe your “call” about a job or a friend came to you during a sunset, when the warm wind blew across the soft skin on your face. Maybe your “call” is coming through the words of a friend. Maybe it will come from one line in a book. I don’t know. The “call” inviting us to love more deeply, work more creatively, see more deeply, laugh more heartily, or cry more sincerely, is often around us.

To hear our call, to hear life calling us, we need to be sensitive to our interconnected web. We need to quiet our internal dialogue, open our eyes to the day, and listen to our colleagues, family and friends.

When we were born we called out to the world and it responded. I imagine the world calls to us often. We just need to listen more carefully, so we can accept and then respond to the call.

 

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