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Walking Our Faith: Finding our calling in our passion

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Walking Our Faith
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians that we are all of one body, each perfectly created with talents and contributions that are ours alone to leave as our mark on the world.

It is God’s intention that over the course of our lives, we discover our calling and use our talents to contribute to the good progress of our communities and our world.

This is our calling. It’s easy to recognize the callings of the famous. There will never be another Mother Theresa. There will never be another Abraham Lincoln or Pablo Picasso.

But there will be another woman who goes into the poorest neighborhoods in the world and shares the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. There will be another president who works tirelessly to unite a divided nation. There will be another artist who uses their talent to reflect the horrors of war to a people who grieve.

The tragedy is that too many of us say to ourselves, “That can’t be me. I am no one special.” But is that the truth?

I listen to the Word on Fire podcast with Bishop Robert Barron on my drive to work in the morning. In a recent episode, Barron said we are meant to strive to be saints.

I found this idea difficult to reconcile. Me, a saint? I’ve done more wrong than right in my life. I am by turns selfish and impatient. How could God make a saint of me?

And yet, that’s exactly what God wants to do, with my cooperation. It’s exactly what God desires for each of us.

We may have heard, “Who do you think you are?” said by those we love and respect. Or worse, we have said those words to ourselves.

But this is what God says to us: “Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” — Matthew 5:15

We are not meant to hide our true selves. We are meant to be a light to the world. God knows that we are capable of more than we can imagine. As children of God, we have a responsibility to understand our God-given calling and to serve God and serve our fellow man.

This week, I met Kathie, who has used her passion and talent to create a garden of wildflowers in her Peak 7 neighborhood. Her garden reflects the natural beauty many of us never get to see unless we are on a mountain hike.

In the bed of a created stream, Kathie has placed stones embossed with the names of God and some of her favorite Bible verses, which contain words of encouragement for all who visit. To encourage visitors to pause and reflect, she created a treasure map to find the stones.

The joy which Kathie brings to tending and sharing her wildflower garden speaks volumes of her love for God and her love for her mother, who shares her home.

I want to share with you Kathie’s own words:

“I’d say I’ve been ‘cleaning’ up the yard and landscaping since 1990 and gardening since 2000. Wildflower seeds, a mix of annuals and perennials, poppies, lupine, soap wort (funny name), dianthus, columbine, sweet William.

“I’ve always enjoyed digging in the dirt as my happy, peaceful place since age 10.  Then one day, I started to realize how other people were filled with wonder and joy from our gardens. And of course my motivation continues from my mother’s happiness and enjoyment from seeing beauty out each of her windows and daily walks around our property.  

“I feel blessed that God put this love in my heart and that he encouraged me to follow my dream of wildflower gardens. I was never very good in art class but fulfilled my artistic talents by creating flower gardens.  

“Since landscaping, gardening and nature have always given me peace and joy and feeling connected to our Lord and creator, adding scripture stones and the names of Jesus in our water feature just came naturally. Well of course, why not? About six years ago, I started learning more about God’s word, and that was an inspiration, too.

“I find joy when other people experience joy and appreciate the beauty of our gardens. When I look around, I see the work and wonder of God. I didn’t create these flowers. I just planted them, and his grace and almightiness is what makes such beauty and amazement. Even though some days I spend time focusing my work on the weeds, I step back and enjoy the wonder of it all and how eight months of the year these beautiful joys are buried under snow.”

Imagine the number of people who have visited Kathie’s garden over the years and been blessed. How many people have been encouraged to think of God perhaps for the first time in years because they saw his name on one of the rocks? It was my honor to meet Kathie and her mother, Jane. God can and will use our passions for his holy plans.  

What is your calling? Where is God calling you to serve in our community? I hope you’ll spend some time this week praying and thinking about that. And then I hope you’ll put your thoughts into action.

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com.


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