“…the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet…”Frederick Buechner on true “vocation”
The GO EPIC inventory I created in 2011 supplements, rather than replaces, other more cut-and-dried personality-, vocational-, or gifting-focused tests. I’ve taken many of them and found some helpful, but tests by necessity tend to funnel results toward a particular end — job performance, team dynamics, choosing from a fixed list of professions or identifying leadership styles and roles.
GO EPIC is a more open-ended process, because the way people choose to live out and express their unique calling may not exist on any current list of possibilities. I don’t recall “orphanage founder,” “master fundraiser while stay-at-home-mom” or “clean-water-well-builder-while-airline-pilot” as being on any list of vocations I’ve seen.
Just to be clear, the goals of this inventory are threefold:
- The pursuit of vocation — Frederick Buechner masterfully refers to vocation as “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Let the geography of your own story, informed by others you trust and the needs of the world around you, be your guide.
- The integration of your life — Going through the inventory helps you identify what’s really important to you. And what’s not. Over time, that can help you integrate your life in ways that you never dreamed possible.
- The sake of adventure — The inventory process is really the beginning of a journey that can lead you into new territory. The process isn’t not over when you answer the last question, because identifying a calling of service can take a lifetime of trial and error, effort and exploration. Mother Teresa, for example, didn’t start the Missionaries of Charity until after she had been a nun for years!