"For surely the hand of the Lord was with him." Lk. 1:66
I wonder how many times John the Baptist had to hear that line while growing up. How many times did his parents tell him the story of how he received his name? Did John believe there was extra pressure placed on him because of the blessing he received from Zechariah? Did he feel the need to rebel a bit as a teenager causing his family members to roll their eyes as they said; "I thought he was the one who had the hand of the Lord with him?"
Very few of us may have had as clear of calling as John the Baptist. At least nobody that I know personally, has shared with me a family history or a naming ceremony such as that as of John's story. But even John had to not so much as "test" his call but had to "clarify" it through discernment. John went into the desert, stripped away the distractions of the world and it was there that he found where he was being called. Luke's gospel does not describe all the details of John's desert experience. The gospel does not even say for certain if the experience lasted days, weeks or years. But we can know that it was because if his prayer and searching that John found his calling as a baptizer.
With just a few days of Advent remaining, we too can still enter into a "desert space" in order to find time for our own prayer and discernment. Desert space meaning that we take time away from the phone, radio, TV, computer. Remove all of the distractions in our life and find a quiet place to pray. Let us make room in our hearts to to allow our Savior to come into our lives. In our prayer, let us ask where we are being called? Are we able to hear the Lord's answer or do we need to go deeper into the desert in order to clear out enough space for our Lord to answer?