Devotion is not just a calling but also a choice
Many people treat devotion as a calling to which some are called and some (they) aren’t. Thus, they rationalize delaying their practice of devotion till some uncertain future when they will feel the call.
It’s true that many great saints had life-defining moments of calling – moments that folk narratives about them glamorize. But such narratives often neglect the reality that those saints’ devotion was not just a calling but also a choice, a choice they resolutely exercised lifelong.
The nature of the human mind is to wander and waver, thereby eroding even the most ardent calling. That’s why, though many feel called to a particular vocation, not all become successful. What separates achievers from also-rans is not the strength of their calling, but the strength of their commitment. Destinies are forged not just in the heat of moments of calling, but also in the cold grind of daily, determined choices after the moments of calling have passed.
Only by subordinating inconsistent feelings to consistent purpose are success stories scripted.
Though people acknowledge the necessity of commitment in most fields, they often treat devotion as an exception that can be left to calling alone. The Bhagavad-gita (09.14) counters this notion by declaring that devotees strive determinedly in their devotional service.
By such determination, calling and choice grow symbiotically. The Gita (15.15) indicates that Krishna from within our heart gives us knowledge, remembrance and forgetfulness according to our desires. When we express our desire for him by choosing to practice bhakti-yoga, he reciprocates by giving us the remembrance that strengthens our calling.
Therefore, rather than leaving our devotion to the mercy of some unpredictable calling, we can choose it right away and thus stimulate the symbiosis of choice and calling that will gradually catapult us to pure devotion and eternal life.
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