by Chris Banescu
Each of us has a calling, a vocation, in life. Some discover their passion in their childhood or teen years and know from early on what they were meant to do. Some find their calling after reaching adulthood and encountering the real world. Some stumble unto their life’s work when faced with life-changing events, personal struggles, or tragedies. Some uncover their life’s passion in their old age, usually after retirement, when a growing awareness of their own mortality imbues them with a renewed sense of urgency and purpose. Tragically, many never find their life’s calling, either due to hardships, fear, or plain laziness; despite knowing what they should do, neither bothering to dedicate the time or energy required to follow their dreams, nor making the sacrifices necessary to fulfill their vocations.
By God’s immeasurable grace I am one of those blessed souls that has discovered his calling in life. I believe my vocation is to be a Voice Crying in the Wilderness, a messenger who strives to open men’s hearts and minds to timeless truths and principles, to help them discover what’s truly important in this life and in eternity. A messenger of the One who created everything in this universe, the laws that govern all matter and morality, the individual atoms and cells that make up my body and the soul that gives it life, and the very reason that allows me to think and write these words.
This blog is a labor of love meant to bear witness to the Truth and stand as a beacon of hope and meaning to the world. The name was inspired by the Old Testament prophecy from the beginning of the Gospel of St. Mark:
“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You. The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” (Mark 1:2-3)
I am by no means trying to relate my work with the mission of St. John the Baptist or compare my efforts with the world-changing ministry of a prophet of God, one “whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” The inspiration for the name reflects my own sense of alienation and suffering encountered many times in life when I chose to seek and speak the truth and stand for righteousness. It is while traveling through the wilderness of loneliness, spiritual anguish, and despair, that I re-discovered my faith and meaning in my life. C.S. Lewis once observed that “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Indeed, only in the trials and tribulations of this life, while on my knees and in prayer, did I arise from my spiritual slumber and received the comfort and motivation that brought me back to the narrow path.
The final impetus for fulfilling my vocation and creating this blog, came from the writings of C.S. Lewis, one of the most influential Christian writers of the 20th century and probably the most down to earth theologian I have read, and the wisdom of St. Ambrose (Bishop of Milan), an Orthodox Christian saint who lived in the 4th century.
Lewis cautions in Mere Christianity, one of his most prominent books, that “God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers. If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you that you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all.” This insight shamed me into action and made me realize that I am just as accountable for my laziness and failure to follow my calling, as for failing to follow Christ’s teachings and the moral law. Silence and inaction are also sins. “Not only for every idle word must man give an account, but for every idle silence,” warned St. Ambrose.
The clincher that convinced me to launch The Voice Blog also came from the wisdom of C.S. Lewis, in God in the Dock: “Here is a door, behind which, according to some people, the secret of the universe is waiting for you. Either that’s true or it isn’t. And if it isn’t, then what the door really conceals is simply the greatest fraud, the most colossal ‘sell’ on record. Isn’t it obviously the job of every man (that is a man and not a rabbit) to try to find out which, and then to devote his full energies either to serving this tremendous secret or to exposing and destroying this gigantic humbug? Faced with such an issue, can you really remain wholly absorbed in your own blessed ‘moral development’?”
Having spent my whole life searching for truth and the meaning of life and questioning my Christian faith, I have continually received confirmation of the existence of God and the reality of His moral and scientific laws, and seen evidence of His power and goodness in all things. I have encountered the universal application of His truths and the timeless precepts of His infinite knowledge and love. Faced with such overwhelming convictions I cannot be silent, complacent, or idle. I am compelled to devote my full energies in serving Him and share what I now know and understand with anyone willing to listen. This is my calling, this is my vocation!