Editor’s note: This is one in a series of personal vocation stories from seminarians, religious women, deacons and priests in the Diocese of Salt Lake City.
“Not everyone is called to a religious vocation; why me?”
Not everyone is called to a religious vocation, but we are all called on a mission from God. A mission to serve, to lead, to manage, to marry, to be a parent and the list goes on. So, what’s your mission in life? School, college, trade school, the family business? What’s the best way to determine your mission in life? The short answer is prayer.
God has designed each one of us for a mission. He has given us life, talents and grace. You have been designed by God for a purpose in your life, right now here in Utah or wherever God sends you. Start talking to God. Ask him, “What do you think I should do with my life?” Pay close attention because God will definitely answer this prayer.
As for me, I have always gone to church, Mass on Sundays, received the sacraments and married an amazing Catholic beauty and we have three kids and are now helping them to repeat the process. My wife and I we are definitely on a mission to be husband and wife and Mom and Dad.
Did I mention that my wife and I don’t consider ourselves saints, or even holy people? We are day-to-day normal. So, life moves on, the children are grown, married, and we are gifted with five grandchildren. I retire and my wife and I start our retirement in Eden, Utah. And then the “Holy Nagging” begins.
Gently at first, the Holy Spirit would ask, “So, would you consider becoming a disciple and serve Jesus?” I would respond, “Not now; I’m mowing the lawn.”
This Holy Nagging goes on for weeks, then months, then years and by this time the Holy Spirit is tapping my shoulder several times a day.
OK, I’m listening. “What’s the game plan?” The Holy Spirit responds, “How about becoming a deacon?” I respond, “You have to be kidding! I’m not that holy; you know I’m a professional sinner! Why me?”
“Because God is calling you to a mission to serve him in Utah.”
My wife and I see the bishop, begin my testing to see if I’m sane and then attend diaconate classes. And four to five years later and a lot of coaching from my mentor (the Holy Spirit) I’m on a mission to serve the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Oh, yes. One more thing: The Holy Nagging has finally stopped. Life is good.
Deacon Doug Smith is assigned to Holy Family Parish in Ogden.