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This Forecast explores the vocation of writing and the Christian vocation more generally through a short personal essay and clips from guests discussing their vocations in various capacities. Whether writers or not, whether single or married, whether ordained or lay, through whatever situation we find ourselves in, God calls all of us to be transformed in the likeness of Christ. Will we follow? Host: Josh Seligman
Outline of today's Forecast, including links:
An excerpt of 'Seeking Vocation and the Ministry of Writing' by Josh Seligman
It was during my first year of university that I first heard of writing as a vocation. Pastor and writer Eugene Peterson was visiting my campus for a public interview, and towards the end, when asked what advice he’d give to people considering becoming writers, he said, ‘Do it. We need all we can get. There’s never enough storytellers. There are a lot of people who want to write stories, but they don’t want to go through the discipline, the agony, the immersion in life it requires to tell the truth with all this. No, I think writing is one of the sacred callings.'
Peterson’s words inspired me. I was one of those people considering becoming a writer, and he prompted me to ask questions like What does it mean for writing to be a vocation? How does that correspond with other Christian vocations? Might this be my calling? Such questions compelled me to study and practise writing at university and beyond.
At the same time, I knew that my Christian faith called me to love my neighbour and serve people’s practical needs. I got involved in various ministries at my local church, and when I was invited to serve as an intern there during my final year of university, I gratefully said yes: it seemed a way to deepen my participation there. But when I shared this news with someone who knew me well, they asked, 'Might interning compete with your writing?'
Given my pursuit of writing, I understood where they were coming from. If writing were my vocation, perhaps it should have been my primary focus, even over interning at church. But I also thought that, while not my main reason, interning might provide the ‘immersion in life’ Peterson had said was required to write well. In the end, I discovered that my work as an intern and my writing would not only complement each other, but also reveal a deeper truth about vocation...
Josh Seligman is the founding editor of Foreshadow and a co-host of its podcast, Forecast.