Posted on in Blog by The Rev. David Marshall
There is a concept in chemistry is called a catalyst. A catalyst is a substance that causes two other substances to react, or speeds up a reaction within another substance. You can see entertaining examples of this by searching for, “chemistry catalyst demo”, in your favorite search engine. One popular demonstration of a catalyst uses hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into water and oxygen gas, but that happens very slowly; so slowly that you cannot see it happening. If put some hydrogen peroxide into a clear container, like a plastic bottle, it just sits there inert. Add a catalyst, like potassium permanganate or yeast, and the decomposition speeds up dramatically. If you put some dish soap and food coloring into the peroxide before you add the catalyst, you get a geyser of colored foam.
Sometimes we need a catalyst, metaphorically speaking, in our own lives. How do you get started on a new exercise program? How do you make working-out a priority when your life is already full? There are any number of habits or disciplines that we struggle with. Every once in a while, though, something changes. Something happens, or someone says something that gets our attention and we change our behavior. There is some sort of catalyst that activates our desire or our commitment, that overcomes our resistance or reluctance, and we act.
Your life has a purpose. You have a vocation. All of us do. Your vocation may not be what you do, or did, for a living. There is often a difference between what we are paid to do and what we are made to do. Each of us are given gifts and talents and interests that color or shape our lives and the ways in which we express the purpose of our lives. The thing is, God has a purpose for your life, whether you are retired, or a teacher, or a web developer, or you work in a grocery store. God has a purpose for your life, so you have a vocation. You have a calling. You are called to live out your faith.
Sometimes our faith needs a catalyst. We need to be inspired to act on our faith. The catalyst could be a medical crisis or a personal tragedy. The catalyst could be witnessing injustice in the world, or it could be seeing homelessness or suffering of another kind in your neighborhood, in your city, or in the world. Wherever your inspiration comes from, know this: Your life has a purpose, and Jesus is calling you to live out that purpose.